KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones has been stressing execution and efficiency in his modified offense.
That leads former Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers to believe Quinten Dormady will be the first player under center for the Vols this season.
Dormady, a rising junior and the son of a high school coach in Texas, is believed to be the frontrunner in the ongoing QB competition entering the start of fall drills on July 29, though Jones made it clear he’s open to playing two.
Jarrett Guarantano is an undeniable rising talent, but Dormady has the advantage of having spent two years in the offense and seeing limited game action behind departed 3-year starter Josh Dobbs.
Jones pushed his quarterbacks hard in spring drills, insisting they do drills over until they could execute to his satisfaction and tempo.
“I think Dormady will be the guy moving forward and will be solid for them,” Rodgers said during the SEC Network’s coverage of media days in Hoover, Ala., last week.
Tennessee opens the season on Monday night, Sept. 4, against Georgia Tech.
Vols’ offensive coordinator Larry Scott has made it clear that the QB situation could remain fluid throughout the season.
“It’s a long season,” Scott said, “and as long as you are willing to put one foot in front of another, come to work each day and trust what we’re giving you, trust the plan, and do all you can to execute, you’ll catch a little excellence as we go.”
Dormady, however, is most likely best suited to be under center coming out of the gate because of his command of the playbook and comfort managing the offense.
“You heard Butch talk about execution, and they are gone have to execute within the scheme of the offense, (and) I think Dormady is the guy to do that,” Rodgers said. “What I liked about him in the spring game, aside form the completions, is his ability to manipulate the ball.
“He can throw the trajectory at times, velocity at other times. It’s hard to evaluate in a spring game, but if there was anything to take from that, (Dormady had) a little bit of moxie for delivering the football.”
Dormady was 10-for-10 passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game, while Gurantano was 4-of-5 passing for 40 yards.