NFL QB Joshua Dobbs Worked with NASA for NFLPA Externship Before SpaceX Launch

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 31, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 13: Joshua Dobbs #1 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on before the start of a game against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field on October 13, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

If someone ever tries to tell Joshua Dobbs that playing football isn't rocket science, the NFL quarterback will have to do his best not to laugh.

Not only is Dobbs an actual rocket scientist who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in aerospace engineering, but as part of an NFLPA externship with NASA, he also spent February working at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


.@josh_dobbs1 worked with NASA engineers as a part of his @NFLPA externship. He can't wait to see the @NASA-@SpaceX launch today! 🚀 https://t.co/l3SaCz4rqg

On Saturday, the current Jacksonville Jaguar congratulated NASA and SpaceX on the first manned launch from United States soil since 2011, with two astronauts being sent to the International Space Station.

According to ESPN's Michael DiRocco, Dobbs was originally supposed to extern with NASA in 2018, but a government shutdown at the time scuttled that opportunity.

Per DiRocco:

"Scott Colloredo, a Tennessee grad and a deputy director of engineering at Kennedy Space Center, reached out to Dobbs via LinkedIn and asked whether he'd be interesting in coming to Florida instead. Dobbs accepted and spent February on the Space Coast.

"He started in the instrumentation department for the mobile launcher, a structure used to support a large, multistage space vehicle, but ended up spending time in various other departments, becoming a bit of a celebrity in the process."

As more and more scientists got wind that an NFL QB was working among them, Dobbs kept getting pulled into different departments for various crash courses.

It was more than enough for him to sense the magnitude of the effort it takes to accomplish the goal of space flight.

"You have 53 people, but everyone's different," Dobbs told DiRocco, correlating what he saw at the Kennedy Space Center to football. "But everyone still has to understand their position and how it affects the big picture for something as little as a play to go right and then for the team to win. To see the dynamics, and it kind of is good to see them not in your normal everyday world of football. You're able to see them in a different light, so you're able to kind of rewire your mind to be able to apply those concepts to the football world."

Dobbs will spend the NFL season as one of Gardner Minshew II's backups with the Jaguars, but he may have the most indispensable mind in his position group.

When it comes to figuring out how to execute a plan and communicate on the fly, a little bit of rocket science can go a long way.