HOOVER, Ala. — Tennessee is headed for a two-quarterback system, though there are plenty of details left to be worked out.
Vols coach Butch Jones not only made it clear at SEC Media Day on Monday that junior Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano remained engaged in a spirited competition, he upped the ante.
“If both players earn their right to play, we’ll play both quarterbacks,” Jones said from behind the podium in the main ballroom at the Winfrey Hotel. “I’ve been in systems where we’ve been able to do that, and really Quinten and Jarrett’s skill sets are very similar to each other.
“I think we have an offense that really can play to the skill sets of the quarterback and all of the players round.”
Dormady is the more seasoned of the two players, a junior from Texas and the son of a high school coach.
Gurantano is a redshirt freshman from New Jersey with great mobility and the ability to throw accurately off the run.
Dormady is the favorite to line up under center first when Tennessee opens the season against Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sept. 4.
But Jones all but said Guarantano will also play if he’s capable of running at least a portion of the Vols’ offensive package against the Yellow Jackets.
“Again, if both players earn the right to play, they’ll both play,” Jones reiterated. “It’s how it’s going to play itself out, because these two individuals are very, very capable and very good football players. It’s a good problem to have.”
So good that Jones is in no hurry to make his plans official.
“We will not name a starting quarterback until the time is right,” Jones said. “I can’t tell you where that is. That will be decided, obviously, on the field when we start training camp.”
Jones said Tennessee’s quarterback competition has benefitted the entire football team this offseason.
“I talked to our young football team this spring about compete and don’t compare, and they’ve been able to do that,” said Jones, who did not release a depth chart during spring drills nor in the preseason media package. “The competition at that position has elevated the level of play of everyone around them.”