KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee quarterback situation figures to be the most compelling issue of fall camp, with Coach Butch Jones not naming a starter nor tipping his hand as to how he might manage playing time at the position in games.
Truth is, Jones probably doesn’t exactly know yet himself, as both Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano have four weeks worth of fall camp to prove themselves.
Other facets of the offense will evolve around the quarterback position, and that will also play a role in how offensive coordinator Larry Scott and Jones determine the roles of the two QBs.
Conventional wisdom suggests Dormady will play the majority of snaps early in the season, while Guarantano is still growing comfortable managing the offense and improving his consistency.
Tennessee probably won’t settle on its QB situation in its entirety until October, and then the Vols would be just one injury from all of that changing once again.
Dormady demonstrated the skills and poise needed to run the offense in the Orange-and-White Game this spring, while Guarantano appeared as athletic and electric as one might expect from the 2016 recruiting class’ top-ranked dual threat QB.
For now, Tennessee has the look of a two-headed monster, with Jones able to use the quarterback that best suits the game plan or the situation in games at that time.
The competition that’s ongoing is likely for snaps.
Like any other team with two good options at quarterback, the Vols will probably allow this situation to play out, figuring out what’s best for the team as the season progresses.
A September schedule that includes games with Indiana State (Sept. 9) and UMass (Sept. 23) all but ensures that Guarantano will see plenty of game action, provided he continues to “earn” the snaps as per Jones at media day.
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss the quarterback situation on today’s podcast.
Tennessee Football Podcast