No Starter Named At QB For Vols

No Starter Named At QB For Vols

Staff impressed with them all.
-University Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After the final day of fall camp the Vols' still have their biggest question mark still hovering in the air. Who will be under center when the Tennessee offense takes the field against Austin Peay?

After an open competition for the spot for the past several weeks, a quarterback has still yet to be named.

"They've all been very attentive, very astute," said offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian when asked on if he was comfortable with all of their options. "They have a firm grasp of what we're doing offensively so yes."

Heading into camp, it was assumed that junior Justin Worley and redshirt freshmen Nathan Peterman were the front runners to win the spot but Bajakian has been impressed with the group as a whole, including freshmen newcomers Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson.

"We always talk to our guys about preparing as if you're the starter," he said. "It's not a big deal from their mentality and their standpoint. The thing you have to balance is the reps and how you break those up. But again we've been able to distribute reps relatively evenly anyway and even in the course of a game week prep we do get a lot of work for the first and second unit so it's a decision again that Coach Jones will make in due time, when he's ready to do so."

While there may still not be a clear starter, Bajakian said that as a staff they've experienced position battles like this one and that he feels he could trot any one of the quarterback candidates out there on a Saturday.

Even in Jones and Co.'s last year at the University of Cincinnati they took a quarterback competition all the way to the week leading up to the first game, finally naming Munchie Legaux their week one starter against Pittsburgh.

Bajakian stood firm that the choice will be made in due time.

"Again, the decision on the depth chart is Coach Jones'," said Bajakian. "I think he's better suited to comment on that but we'll play the guy that gives us the best chance of winning."

And the play caller isn't at all surprised that the battle has been so close. He applauded the blue collar effort from each of his quarterbacks.

"No, I expected the guys to compete and they are," he said. "Every day they come to work with their lunch pail in hand and their hard hat on. They go about their business. They're not looking over their shoulder with who's behind them, where they should be or about how the reps are getting divided. They've been great in that regard. They just come to work and try to take advantage of their opportunities."

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