ATHENS — At some point this Saturday, Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus might tackle Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs. It will not be the first time they’ve met. Far from it.
Ganus and Dobbs played on the same pee wee football team in Alpharetta. It was called “Park League” football, for kids ages 5-to-10 years old.
Ganus’ father was the coach of the team that his son and Dobbs played on for several years. Ganus couldn’t remember many details about the team or what position Dobbs played.
“I think he was one of our bigger kids so I feel like he played some defensive end. I can’t even remember, I was asking my Dad the other day. Because when I played park ball I was a tight end, middle linebacker, just really the biggest kids played on the line and the fast ones played skill positions. I wanna say he played on the line.”
Now Dobbs is a quarterback, and the starter for Tennessee as a fourth-year junior. Ganus is a senior at Georgia, third on the team in tackles, after spending his first three years at UAB.
Ganus and Dobbs grew up on “opposite sides of Alpharetta,” Ganus said. They went to different schools, then Ganus moved to Birmingham for high school and they lost touch. They haven’t talked in a long time.
“But I saw when he signed with Tennessee, and I’ve been keeping up with him,” Ganus said.
Dobbs is also famous for being a budding rocket scientist. He’s majoring in aerospace engineering and had an internship at Pratt & Whitney last summer.
But Ganus doesn’t remember whether Dobbs was building toy rockets or anything like that when they were kids.
“I remember we had a good team,” Ganus said. “So I do remember that.”