Virginia Tech running Back History :: History of Virginia

Virginia Tech running Back History

January 11, 2018
Virginia Tech Running Back

John Dobbins ended up being a star working straight back at Radford high-school and proceeded to become the very first black football player at Virginia Tech. "at that time, i truly don't think about it, " he claims of breaking the colour barrier truth be told there. "you then look as well as see what you did, you are feeling great by what you had."

John Dobbins started taking into consideration the chance for being the very first black colored baseball player at Virginia Tech during those Saturday afternoons when you look at the mid-1960s when he stood on sidelines of Lane Stadium.

He wasn't a new player then, he was only a teen, a nearby child from Radford who had finagled sideline passes from buddies. He previously grown-up a Tech fan, so he understood there had never ever been a black face behind the face area masks in the Tech helmets.

"I understood I was likely to be the first, " said Dobbins, who was a star running straight back at Radford senior school. "no-one previously pointed out it if they had been recruiting me, but we understood i might become first."

John Dobbins holding the basketball vs. Oklahoma State University Homecoming, October 14, 1972
University Archive Photograph Collection

Dobbins' choice to relax and play at Tech was an instant deemed so significant that service by which he and Radford teammate Tommy Edwards, a white operating as well as defensive straight back, finalized to relax and play the Gobblers had been televised live on head mentor Jerry Claiborne's tv show.

During the time, freshmen were not entitled to varsity competition, therefore if it absolutely wasn't before fall of 1970 that Dobbins became the first black colored soccer player in Tech's history, two years after track star Jerry Gaines became Tech's first black colored athlete in every sport.

In three months, Dobbins rushed for 705 yards and scored three touchdowns. He played mostly as a starting fullback, a position that will require a person to-do even more blocking for any other operating backs than really holding the soccer.

Becoming the first black player at Tech failed to appear as monumental to Dobbins then since it does now.

"at that time, i truly did not consider it, " he said. "I became only happy become going here at all.Than you look as well as see just what you did, you're feeling great about what you had."

Sports had always been an easy method for Dobbins to mingle quickly with white men and women in 1960s. By the time Dobbins became area of the second-class of black pupils to attend Radford in 1964, he'd currently known several of their schoolmates by playing alongside all of them regarding the baseball fields, basketball process of law and baseball diamonds of Radford's sandlot program.

Radford had incorporated its fun division in management of director B. Dave Bisset and assistant director Joe Hodge around 1960.

"I became probably school with kids I would enjoyed, " stated Dobbins, today 40; who works as a supervisor at Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corp. in Dublin. "That helped with integration inside city a lot more than such a thing i understand of. Most of the young ones already knew each other [before the time of integration]. That presents exactly how sports often helps deliver folks collectively."

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