Vikings QB Joshua Dobbs talks love of space, giving back and his parents going viral

Next up: Becoming an astronaut?

ByABC News
November 26, 2023, 2:41 PM

Joshua Dobbs' debut as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback was anything but ordinary.

On Nov. 5, he took the field just days after being traded to the team because the first two quarterbacks were injured. He hadn't yet learned the names of his fellow players, the Vikings playbook or even where he should suit up.

Still, he excelled, throwing two touchdowns and running for another.

In a new sit-down with ABC's Martha Raddatz for "This Week," Dobbs, a scholar with an aerospace engineering degree and a perfect 4.0, talked about his journey, how he gives back and what he's planning to do after football.

"I quickly learned I love sports, but I also loved aviation," Dobbs said in the interview. "I love math and science. And so that's kind of where the beginning of the aerospace background began when I was younger. You know, I got to school, I said I want to do something I'm good at and something that I like and interested in. And so, when I was trying to figure out what to study, aerospace engineering really knocked out both buckets."

Dobbs credits his parents, Stephanie and Robert, for nurturing his passions, although they keep their own well under wraps.

After images of the pair at his football games went viral, Dobbs reposted an Instagram with the caption "Josh Dobbs' parents still wish he worked for NASA." (He was previously an extern with the space agency.)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Nov. 19, 2023, in Denver.
Jack Dempsey/AP

"They are very stoic on camera. I need a little more energy out of them, I can't lie," Dobbs told Raddatz.

"A little smile, you know, maybe like hand up, a cheer, a high five, something," he added. "So we're working, we're practicing. We're working on it."

What Dobbs is working on when not playing football is introducing kids to science, technology, engineering and math through his foundation, the ASTROrdinary Dobbs Foundation.

"I'm able to show kids that are extremely interested in sports that you can also have other passions off the field, off the court, outside of, you know, your hobbies and sport," Dobbs said. "You can have other passions in your studies, and STEM is a tremendous field."

Though he's focused fully on this football season, he said he is also making plans for what comes next.

"My future dream is to have my pilot's license. And then from there, you know, get into the engineering world. I think there's some tremendous opportunities, obviously, in space," Dobbs said.

Just how out of this world is he thinking?

"I'm still trying to figure out if being astronaut, going to space, is in my cards," he said, "but I think it'll be pretty cool."

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