Vols might play two quarterbacks in upcoming season

Tennessee redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty)

HOOVER, Ala. — Butch Jones isn’t ready to announce Tennessee’s starting quarterback for the team’s season opener against Georgia Tech.

The Vols’ coach won’t rule out the possibility of playing two quarterbacks, though.

Jones said Monday at SEC Media Days that junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano would both play if they both “earned” the right to play.

“I think playing time is earned, so if both players earn their right to play, we’ll play both quarterbacks,” Jones said. “I’ve been in systems where we’ve been able to do that, and really Quinten and Jarrett’s skill sets are very similar to each other. I think we have an offense that really can play to the skill sets of the quarterback and all of the players around.

“Again, if both players earn the right to play, they’ll both play. Again, it’s how it’s gonna play itself out, because these two individuals are very, very capable and very good football players.

“It’s a good problem to have.”

Jones has maintained since late last season that he and his staff are excited about the development of Dormady and Guarantano, and that their “distinct personalities” make the competition even more interesting.

Tennessee junior quarterback Quinten Dormady (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty)

“I’m really, really excited about the quarterbacks that we have in our program, and I think the competition at that position is really elevated the level of play of everyone else around them,” Jones said. “You know, you have two kind of distinct personalities. You have a young individual in Jarrett Guarantano, very energetic, very demonstrative, very passionate, very, very talented, and then Quinten Dormady, who is a coach’s son, who has kind of been in our football program. So [they’re] a little bit different in terms of personality-wise, but these two individuals are very, very talented.

“And the great thing about these two individuals — and we talked to our young football team about this all spring — is compete and don’t compare. They’ve been able to do that, but they also have the mutual respect towards each other that they’re still helping each other out, and that’s been great to see. I think it’s a great issue to have.

“We will not name a starting quarterback until the time is right. I can’t tell you where that is. That will be decided obviously on the field when we start training camp.”

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