Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Tennessee missed out on quarterback Sam Howell but have been in pursuit of Taulia Tagovailoa.

Where Tennessee might turn for quarterback in 2019 class

SEC Country reporter Blake Morgan will candidly answer your Tennessee sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @BlakeMorganSEC, Tennessee Insiders Facebook page or by email to Blake at

The question today came from too many angles to put just one person asking about it:

Where is Tennessee going to turn at the quarterback position?

Quarterback prospect Sam Howell chose Florida State on Monday. It wasn’t too surprising he didn’t choose the Vols, because the coaching staff had backed off of him the past few weeks. Until that point, Tennessee had recruited him about as hard as any other quarterback prospect.

Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton is the lead man when it comes to finding a quarterback. It’s not clear how the Vols’ board is set up right now. Here are three names I’ve heard Tennessee has been going after to this point in the recruiting process.

  • Taulia Tagovailoa: Yes, Tennessee is going after the younger brother of Tua Tagovailoa who was the hero of the National Championship Game for Alabama. Taulia Tagovailoa and his parents moved from Hawaii to Alabama to be closer to his brother while he plays for the Crimson Tide. This won’t be an easy recruitment. Tagovailoa came to Rocky Top in February and there is some interest from the 4-star quarterback. However, he seems destined for Alabama after talking to people who have a better understanding of the situation. It’s a close-knit family and prying him out of Alabama would be a major feat. If Helton pulled it off, it’d be a major win for the recruiting class. Tagovailoa projects to fit well into Helton’s pro-style offense. If he has anywhere near the talent of his brother, it makes sense why the coaching staff would at least take a shot.
  • Travis Mumphrey: The Marrero, La., native likely came onto Tennessee’s radar because of wide receiver coach David Johnson. Johnson was hired, in part, to help build a recruiting pipeline into The Boot. Travis Mumphrey falls into the category. The Vols hosted him in February. It’s unclear just how much the Vols have been talking to him recently. The fit would be interesting. Mumphrey is a dual-threat who doesn’t play much under center in high school. It’s tough to get a feel for what the Vols value at this position. The staff brought in graduate transfer Keller Chyrst presumably because of his experience running a pro-style offense. There is something Helton has seen from Mumphrey that stood out, though.
  • Lance LeGendre: The Kansas commit is locked in on the Jayhawks for the time being, but Tennessee has a chance. The coaching staff also regularly talks with  LeGendre, too. He was on campus in March and I’m told had a good time. LeGendre is another dual-threat prospect and is from New Orleans. Expect Tennessee to keep pushing for LeGendre, even though he’s committed.

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