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Dobbs elected to play through the pain and wound up leading Navy to the third 10-win season in program history. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound junior led the Midshipmen in rushing with 1,203 yards and set an NCAA single-season record for touchdowns by a quarterback with 27.

"I was definitely limited somewhat last season, especially from a subconscious standpoint. Because of the pain I was feeling with the knee, I wasn't as confident as I wanted to be as far as making cuts. It hurt whenever I tried to stop and push off."

That's not surprising considering the size of the loose pain that was floating around in the knee. Lt. Cmdr John-Paul Rue, the Navy football team's orthopedic surgeon, was unable to remove the chipped bone by arthroscopic surgery and had to enter through an incision in the patella tendon.

"I was told the loose bone was three-quarters of the size of my knee cap. They had to break it into pieces to get it out," said Dobbs, who was given the bone chips and may make a necklace out of the largest.