After two years as a backup, junior Quinten Dormady is expected to start at quarterback for Tennessee in its season-opener against Georgia Tech.
Dormady spent his first two seasons serving as the backup to Josh Dobbs, and has seen limited action during his time at Tennessee. He has played in 10 games, going 24-of-39 for 357 yards and a touchdown. He also has rushed for 8 yards on 11 carries.
Despite his limited playing time, Dormady (6 feet 4, 222 pounds) still has the experience advantage over redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano in the Vols’ quarterback battle.
While some feel Guarantano’s running ability makes him the better option for the Vols’ run-heavy offense, skeptics shouldn’t overlook Dormady, who rushed for 275 yards and five touchdowns as a senior at Boerne (Texas) High, which is about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio. Dormady’s dad, Mike, was his high school coach. (Boerne is pronounced “Ber-nie,” by the way.)
While it’s long been assumed Dormady will earn the starting role, it’s still anyone’s race with less than a month until Week 1.
As with any highly touted young quarterback, it’s unlikely that fans’ infatuation with Guaranano — who was a four-star prospect considered the top dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class — will cease after until (and unless) Dormady exceeds expectations. Let’s not forget that the most popular player to a struggling team’s fan base is the backup quarterback.
The bigger obstacle for Dormady — who was a four-star recruit himself, in the 2015 class — may be overcoming the large shadow cast by Dobbs, who was a four-year starter and led Tennessee to three consecutive bowl appearances. It’s never easy being the next guy in line following a top-flight quarterback, but Dormady looks to have the poise and skill set to provide a solid option for the Vols this season.
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