"Playing with the pain was tough," Dobbs said. "The post-game was definitely tough to deal with. To keep from feeling worse the next day, the night of the game I would go to sleep really late, like 4 or 5 in the morning and I thought it was a way of tricking my body. If I had gone right to bed, I would have woke up super sore. I would get up, go to church, then take a nap. It worked. I don't know how good it was for my body, but it worked."
Dobbs, whose post-graduate military plans will be in surface warfare for the Navy, has aspirations of playing in the NFL, but at 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds, he will likely have to change the perception that he is strictly an option quarterback or possibly change his position..
"I would love to play quarterback," said Dobbs, whose strong throwing arm has made him a more viable candidate for the pros than most option quarterbacks, including Georgia Tech's Joshua Nesbitt. "That's what I can see myself playing, but I can see myself playing any position."
Cobb said that NFL scouts shouldn't dismiss Dobbs for a lack of size — he's about the same height and weight of New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees — or Navy's lack of a passsing game.
"With Ricky, you can't ever count him out," said Cobb, who began coaching his nephew when Dobbs was 7 years old and taught him a sophicated passing offense run out of a shotgun.
The NFL is a long way off and Dobbs is trying to build on last season's success. Admittedly, Niumatalolo is a little worried that the recent rush of attention, including stories in Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com, might distract a player who earlier in his career had issues with concentrating in practice.
"Making sure that he stays focused on the essentials," Niumatalolo said. "Not intentionally, because he doesn't have a big head, but maybe through all these things kind of loses of sight of the fact that he has to prepare himself to be the best quarterback."
His uncle believes that Dobbs stays grounded because of his strong faith and that "I don't think it's hit him yet what he's done. If it has, he hasn't shown it."
While not among the Heisman favorites going into the season, a few games putting up the kind of numbers he has the past two years should help him get on the list with the likes of Alabama running back Mark Ingram, the reigning Heisman winner, and others from higher-profile programs.
The Heisman presentation is the night of the Army-Navy game on Dec. 12.
"It's been cool just having my name mentioned this far," Dobbs said. "To be in that room, would be an absolute honor. I just look at is as, I'm blessed to have that opportunity."
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