KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Josh Dobbs meant a lot to Tennessee football, so much so that part of the reason expectations have dropped for the Vols this season, is because the record-breaking quarterback is no longer under center.
Tennessee’s Team 121 is ready to move on.
Tight end Ethan Wolf suggested Thursday that new Vols’ quarterbacks Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano don’t necessarily represent a drop-off.
Dobbs often put the team on his shoulders with his play-making abilities behind an often porous offensive line last season.
But Dormady and/or Guarantano might be able to distribute the ball better to playmakers if the offensive line improves as much as most expect.
The Vols have seven offensive linemen returning who have started a combined 111 games, and incoming freshman Trey Smith is expected to make an early impact.
Wolf knows better than anyone how much Dobbs meant to the team, but he put the passing of torch at quarterback into perspective.
“Josh did do a lot last year, and we had playmakers and we still have playmakers this year that maybe just weren’t shown as much last year,” Wolf said Thursday at the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio.
“So we lost Josh, but we have two great guys that are competing for the job right now that are going to do things different than Josh, maybe better than Josh did.
“No one will be like Josh, and no one is like Quinten or Jarrett, they are all their own players. But we definitely have playmakers at all the skill positions.”
Former Tennessee WR and current Cincinnati Bengals wideout Josh Malone put his spin on the young quarterbacks while in Knoxville at an autograph show.
“Quinten is a great passer, very smart, real good, real savvy back there in the pocket,” Malone said on WNML’s Sports 180. “When he throws a ball, it’s basically a perfect ball almost every time.
“Jarrett is a natural passer, got a good spin on the ball, and he can also run. he’s very fast and he can get out of the pocket. So they all do something better than each other, but they compliment each other at the same time and help each other by competing.”
Maybe so, but a recent graphic by The Sports Source show on WATE-6 shows that first-year starting quarterbacks at Tennessee have typically not fared as well as the previous season.
TENNESSEE FOOTBALL 1ST-YEAR QBs