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Quarterback Joshua Dobbs‘ story has captured the attention of NFL fans across the league. After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, he bounced around to several different teams and began the 2023 season with the Arizona Cardinals as a backup. Dobbs was traded to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31. Days later, he unexpectedly became the starter after Jaren Hall, who had taken over for the injured Kirk Cousins, suffered a concussion. 

Now that he’s been taking the snaps in Minnesota, fans want to know as much as they can about the athlete‘s life off the field. Here’s more on Dobbs and his family.

Dobbs’ parents and his background

Dobbs was born on Jan. 26, 1995, in Alpharetta, Georgia, to parents Stephanie and Robert. His mother worked as a regional manager in human resources at United Parcel Service (UPS) and his father was the senior vice president for Wells Fargo. Dobbs is of mixed ethnicity as Robert has Caucasian ancestry and Stephanie has African American roots.

On the football field Dobbs is known as the “Passtronaut” as he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a 4.0 GPA in aerospace engineering. He also interned at the Kennedy Space Center and has been an ambassador for NASA’s Glenn Research Center. 

“[He] absolutely loved getting to the airports early. He just wanted to get there and watch the planes fly,” Stephanie told the New York Post about her son’s early interest in the industry. “Tuskegee Airmen Camp in the summers. Visits to Kennedy Space Center spring break. That’s what his passion was.” 

Robert added: “Josh was such a fascinated kid with planes and how they worked or how they operated to the degree that he was so excited that every now and then the pilot recognized that or flight attendants and give him the little Delta wings or let him come up to the cockpit and take a look at that.”

What the quarterback reposted after his mom and dad’s viral moment

Dobbs’ was also very interested in football as well and his parents have always supported him from the sidelines in elementary school to Alpharetta High School and right through his time playing for the Tennessee Volunteers to the NFL.

During a game on Nov. 19, the TV cameras captured his parents in the stands looking very serious as they watched the Vikings take on the Denver Broncos in primetime.

Their images went viral as fans reposted them on X (formerly known as Twitter). One fan captioned the photo: “Josh Dobbs’ parents still wish he worked for NASA,” which Dobbs himself saw the humor in and reposted.

Dobbs joked with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz about his parents’ demeanor at that game: “They are very stoic on camera. I need a little more energy out of them, I can’t lie. A little smile, you know, maybe like a hand up, a cheer, a high five, something. So we’re working, we’re practicing. We’re working on it.”