KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s starting quarterback position is open entering spring drills, with rising junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano the early favorites.
Redshirt freshman Sheriron Jones and true freshman Will McBride also will get some reps, but barring injury, the Vols figure to split the majority of first-team reps between Dormady and Guarantano.
A source with knowledge of the competition said coach Butch Jones doesn’t have a timeline on choosing Tennessee’s starting quarterback.
Jones, the source said, is willing to enter next season playing two quarterbacks if one doesn’t separate this spring or in fall drills.
Both Dormady and Guarantano made a case for themselves as starters during the Vols’ “Elite Signing Day Show” hosted by Tennessee Titans broadcaster Mike Keith.
Dormady, a prototypical drop-back passer with good mobility, said his leadership and experience give him an edge.
“I just need to come out and be consistent and do the little things,” the 6-foot-4, 216-pound Dormady said. “Rally the guys and raise their play.”
Dormady chose Tennessee over Alabama during the recruiting process, and he will be going through his third spring session after enrolling early as part of the 2015 class.
Guarantano is the smaller (6-4, 205) and flashier of the two quarterbacks, possessing Josh Dobbs-like mobility and a strong arm.
The No. 1-ranked dual-threat QB in the nation, Guarantano does not lack confidence.
“If I get the chance to play, if I have the chance to start,” Guarantano said on the signing day special, “then I’m going to take that chance and run away with it as much as possible.”
Tennessee opens the season on Monday, Sept. 4, against Georgia Tech in Atlanta’s new stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
New Vols quarterbacks coach Mike Canales has said he’s looking forward to working with all the players at the position this spring.