Quarterback Decision Looms for Tennessee Volunteers

By Tim Letcher

Nearly everyone associated with the Tennessee Volunteers is ready for a change, especially after disappointing seasons the last two years. Tennessee has hired Butch Jones, and he seems to have injected some life into this once-proud program.

Jones has been successful in previous stops with Central Michigan and as head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. But in those jobs, he was taking over programs that had been winning, and he built on that success. In this situation, Jones is coming to a program that has not won at its normal level over the past five seasons. It’s also a program that is on its fourth head coach in six seasons (Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and now Jones).

As if that wasn’t enough to overcome, the Vols are staring down the barrel of another big problem. Jones and his staff need to find a quarterback to run the offense, one that can move the ball without turning it over.

What Jones and his staff see are a bunch of guys who have never played a great deal at the college level. Justin Worley has the most experience, but he played in only a few games last season after starting three times as a freshman.

Redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman is also in the mix to be the Vols’ quarterback. A pair of true freshmen, Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson, will also get a look from the new Tennessee coaching staff.

No matter which quarterback wins the battle, he will have another obstacle in front of him, as the Tennessee receiving corps figures to be very thin in 2013.

Jones will continue to address the team’s needs in recruiting, but figuring out how to get through the 2013 season will be a challenge for his first season on Rocky Top.

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