Tennessee is hoping it doesn’t have to depend on second-string quarterback Quinten Dormady or any of the Vols that are currently backing up senior Joshua Dobbs. However, if that’s the case, Tennessee is in much better shape than it has been at any time in recent memory.
Dobbs’ primary backup figures to be sophomore Quinten Dormady, who completed 13-of-22 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown in mop-up duty last season and drew praise from fans hoping for a more accurate downfield passer. Those same fans may not recognize Dormady now. He said he has added 20 pounds.
“I’ve put on a lot of weight,” Dormady said. “I feel like I’m faster and stronger than I’ve ever been.”
That’s exciting for the future. Dormady showed flashes of his ability last year. Now, he’s looking to further develop his game.
“Just consistency, coming out every day and completing as many balls as I can with the best accuracy as I can,” he said.
Tennessee’s coaches have noticed Dormady’s improvement. He, along with sophomore Sheriron Jones, give the Vols options if anything were to happen to Dobbs this season.
“I see both individuals improving,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said following Saturday’s practice. “I’ve been really, really pleased with the quarterback position…Those two individuals continue to get better and better. I think it’s because the volume of repetitions. I think the maturity of the offense, being in the system now for over a year. Both of these individuals are doing a great job.”
Sheriron Jones is the wild card of the group. He is regarded as a better natural athlete than Dormady. However,
Jones also transferred to Colorado before returning shortly thereafter, thanks to an obscure NCAA rule that allows a player to transfer back to his original school as long as he returns in two weeks.
“Sheriron, I love his mentality right now,” offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said. “He’s coming in extra and really trying to get extra work and spends a lot of time by himself watching film. Sherion is eager to learn. I like where he is right now and he’ll get better.”
Said Dormady, “I think he’s very athletic. He’s got a (strong) arm. I’ve got a (strong) arm. I do what I do well and he does what he does well. We’re obviously two different players.”
The transition to college for Dormady has been dramatic. He was a high school star at Boerne (Texas) High School. Now, he’s entering his second season with the second string.
“I try not to focus on that,” Dormady said. “I try to focus on getting better. When my time comes I’ll be ready.”
If that happens this season, Dormady is sure he’ll be ready. Mop-up or not, playing last season played a huge part in his development.
“I think that last year, getting some snaps was huge, just getting in front of a lot of people with a live crowd was a huge deal,” he said.
The Vols have reason to think they may need to rely on a backup quarterback one day, considering Dobbs had 146 rushing attempts last season and figures to again be a big part of the ground game this fall. He’ll take more than his fair share of hits. If that knocks him to the sideline, Dormady said he’s ready.
“I think there’s always stuff you can pick up on,” he said. “You’re never going to know everything, but I definitely think I have command.”