The Tennessee Volunteers football team concluded their 2017 spring practices with the annual spring game Saturday in Neyland Stadium. All eyes were undoubtedly on the quarterbacks. Vols’ head coach Butch Jones previously went on record to say that a favorite for the UT starting QB job will not be named till much closer to the first game of the 2017 season. Although, the hot topic during spring football has been the quarterback competition between Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano for the starting spot this fall.
Despite inclement weather that cut the 2017 Dish Orange and White game short at halftime, the quarterbacks were able to get quite a few reps in. Not only were the Tennessee quarterbacks able to showcase their talents in a scrimmage style game, they were also able to compete in a dedicated QB competition. True freshman Will McBride performed well during the QB competition, as well as heralded redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano. In the end, the performance of the day went to Junior quarterback Quinten Dormady. Not only did Dormady perform well during the scrimmage portion of the afternoon, but he won the QB competition with 10 points. McBride came in second during the QB competition with 9 points. The QB competition was highlighted by the final objective, to hit a cardboard cutout of Jauan Jennings making the Hail Mary catch against Georgia last season. Both Will McBride and Quinten Dormady were able to hit the cutout.
Quinten Dormady’s best play came during the scrimmage portion of the afternoon. Dormady completed 10-of-10 passes for 120 yards and 2 touchdown scores. Comparatively, Jarrett Guarantano completed 4-of-5 passes for 41 yards. Dormady looked more comfortable running the Tennessee offense than Guarantano did. Dormady’s calm and collected on-field performance, combined with his laser precision passing, provides the evidence that Dormady should be the favorite for the Vols starting job following spring practice. Although Dormady has been promoted as a pro-style pocket passer, and Guarantano as a dual-threat QB, both can run and pass the ball just as well as the other. When Dormady was asked if he thinks he’s a better athlete than people perceive, he responded by saying, “Yeah, I definitely do. I don’t think I get as much credit for being athletic, I don’t know why. But I think I have proven I can move the ball however it needs to be moved. So, I think I am more athletic than people believe.” Guarantano may also be more of a pocket passer than people think, he only attempted 3 rushes during the spring game.
Ultimately, Dormady’s impressive play must carry over to the fall. If not, Jarrett Guarantano will most certainly be the starter. Vol fans should be greatly encouraged that Tennessee has two quarterbacks that could both easily be the starter in the fall.