For a second, Josh Dobbs didn’t want to answer the question: What color is your toothbrush?
“I’m a little embarrassed to say,” he said sheepishly, “but it’s actually pink.”
The gymnasium at Dodge Elementary School erupted in laughter, and Dobbs laughed too. After all, the thought of one of the top college football quarterbacks in the country using a pink toothbrush is kind of funny.
The Tennessee quarterback and two other players in town for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Western Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Moton and BYU running back Jamaal Williams, were special guests at Dodge on Friday, taking questions, tossing footballs to students, visiting classrooms and posing for photos.
“It was a lot of fun, just to see their energy and their enthusiasm at the assembly and then visiting with the third-grade class,” Dobbs said. “I definitely took a lot out of it.”
The visit was part of the outreach done each January by the Senior Bowl, the annual college football all-star game that will be played Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Players in the game, which is an audition of sorts for the NFL draft, visit schools and hospitals throughout the Mobile area during the week of the game. Dollar General, sponsor of Mobile’s other bowl game, the Dollar General Bowl, also presented Dodge with a grant of $10,000.
Dr. Suzanne Crist, principal at Dodge, said it’s valuable for her students to talk with successful people and learn what went into that success.
“I think they can see when they were interviewing them that football players are football players, but they also have a lot to say about academics and being successful,” Crist said. “We had a lot of questions in the classrooms about being successful: How did you get there? Who inspired you? Who supports you? I think that’s really good for kids to know – setting goals and reaching them.”
Dobbs, who is scheduled to graduate from Tennessee in May with a degree in aerospace engineering, encouraged the students to put in the effort to excel in school.
“Take advantage of your opportunity, make the most of your education and the pride you take in sports, take that same pride into the classroom,” he said. “That’s what I was able to do. It got me to where I am today and that’s definitely what I would advise any kid out there.”
The students had lots of other questions for the players, as well: What was your favorite game? Do you play any other sports? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? What’s your favorite dance move? What’s your favorite Snapchat filter?
“The toughest question was probably what animal I would be, if I had to be an animal,” Moton said. “I chose an eagle. I think that’s the mascot here, so I chose right, I guess.”
The students, who lined up in front of the schools to welcome the players as they arrived, enjoyed their time with them, trading high-fives and running pass patterns on the playground.
What was their favorite answer from the players?
“The pink toothbrush!” Dodge student James Metzner said. “That part made me so laugh.”