2010's New Stars - Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
Posted Mar 30, 2010

Who are the top players you need to know about going into 2010? Richard Cirminiello profiles Navy QB Ricky Dobbs.

Spring Preview 2010

The Players You Need To Know

Ricky Dobbs, QB Navy

By Richard Cirminiello 

12 New Superstars You Must Know About
- Boston College LB Luke Kuechly
- Connecticut RB Jordan Todman
- Iowa S Tyler Sash
- Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
- Houston WR James Cleveland 
- Temple RB Bernard Pierce
- TCU LB Tank Carder
- California RB Shane Vereen
- Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
- North Texas RB Lance Dunbar
- Nevada DE Dontay Moch 

Who is Ricky Dobbs? … Ask anyone who's been around Dobbs for even a short time, and they'll confirm that he has "it", that ethereal quality reserved for truly special individuals.

It's hard to define Dobbs because he's such a unique young man. The coaching staff believes he's a gift to the program that just keeps on giving. Sure, he's a terrific athlete, who set an NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in 2009, but that doesn't even begin to define him. More than anything, he's a quiet leader, whose magnetic personality and perpetual smile make teammates want to literally and figuratively go to battle with him. A self-described people-person, with an infectious and unselfish demeanor, he's the face and the driving force of a Navy squad that's put the old perceptions about an academy's potential to rest.

The coaching staff's biggest concern about Dobbs heading into 2010 is how to best utilize him. Even today, over six months before the start of another season, the Midshipmen are contemplating ways to maximize his ability without wearing him out, a concern last fall. He may be the quarterback of an option offense, but he's not your stereotypical option quarterback. Dobbs is a physical runner at 6-1 and 198 pounds and has the arm and the fundamentals to be prolific through the air, if needed. Best of all, after a little over a year as the starter, he's peaking at running this intricate, timing-based offense. Put it all together and you've got a Heisman contender at Navy for the first time since Napoleon McCallum was in Annapolis a quarter-century ago and 50 years after Midshipman Joe Bellino won the award in 1960.

Dobbs' message to kids is to always dream big. He's been living by those words his entire life and will continue to do so in the future. For most seniors at Navy, this is the beginning of the end of their athletic careers. Dobbs still has dreams of being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, feeling 2010 is his final audition for the NFL before heading off to sea. He has a minimum two-year commitment, at which time he plans to lobby the Secretary of the Navy for an exemption that would include a six-year stint as a reserve. It's far from a sure thing, but Dobbs is one of those kids that you should never doubt. With the "it" factor on his side, there's no limit to what he'll accomplish in the future.

Ricky Dobbs' best game so far was … It's a toss-up between last year's win at SMU and the upset of Notre Dame in South Bend. In the game with the Mustangs, Dobbs got off to a rough start, had a critical fumble, and hurt his knee in the first half. After seeking strength from his bible by his locker at halftime, he ran for a pair of second half touchdowns, guiding the Mids to a 38-35 overtime win. Against the Irish, he made a successful return from the knee injury, running for a score, throwing for another touchdown, and calling his best game of the year.

Why should you care about Ricky Dobbs? … On the field, he's the catalyst for a Navy program that's been to seven straight bowl games, has beaten Notre Dame in two of the last three seasons, and was fourth nationally in rushing a year ago. After running for 27 touchdowns, an NCAA record for a quarterback, he's destined to begin 2010 as a bona fide Heisman contender. Away from the field, he's everything you'd want your son to become and will be helping protect the country on a surface warfare ship upon graduation next year. In fact, if you don't care about Dobbs, you're missing one of the truly good stories for 2010 in college football.

Positives about Ricky Dobbs … He's a coach's dream at the quarterback position. A natural born leader, he has the ideal type of positive, can-do personality that teammates gravitate to and strive to emulate. From a physical standpoint, he's not at all what you'd expect. Despite being just 6-1 and 198 pounds, he's a tough and durable runner, who'll lower his shoulder and drive defenders off their base. And as a passer, he's an underutilized talent in this offense. He has terrific arm strength, footwork, and throwing mechanics, leading the staff to contend that he could start for many pro-style offenses across the country.

Negatives about Ricky Dobbs … Dobbs has reached a point in his career where he's now concentrating on the finer points of being the point guard of this triple-option offense. More than anything else, he's aiming to improve his checks at the line of scrimmage, make better decisions with the ball, and ramp up his overall knowledge of the offense. The coaches would also like to see him avoid contact whenever possible, sliding or veering out of bounds if there's nothing more to gain on a play.

A cool thing about Ricky Dobbs you probably didn't know … Dobbs wants to someday be the President of the United States, say, around 2040. Seriously. He's looking for the biggest possible stage to spread his message of goodwill and positive attitude, and what better place than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? For now, he'd just love a little face time with President Obama in order to pick his brain about the rigors of the job. How serious is Dobbs about leaving a lasting impression on the Commander-in-Chief? When the Midshipmen visited the White House last year, Dobbs signed the helmet given to the President five times, so he'd notice it from every possible angle.

Career Statistics
2008: 9-of-16 for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception; 106 carries for 495 yards and eight touchdowns
2009: 56-of-105 for 1,031 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions; 315 carries for 1,192 yards and 27 touchdowns