Another Quarterback Competition in the Making?

Justin Worley, a high school quarterback from Rock Hill, South Carolina (Northwestern H.S.), was named today the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Past winners of this award include Peyton Manning.

This season, his school won the South Carolina State Championship (Class AAAA-Div II). Worley passed for 5,315 yards and 64 TDs. That’s sixty-four touchdown passes this season.

Justin Worley is a verbal commitment to Tennessee. He would look a lot better in Orange and White instead of his high school's LSU color scheme.

Oh, and he has a 4.07 GPA.

The significance of all this is that Worley is a Tennessee Volunteer commitment. He plans to enroll early at UT and participate at spring practice.

Other schools on Worley’s list of interest are Arizona State, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Texas Tech.

Worley’s commitment is verbal at this point. So, the emergence of freshman Tyler Bray as the Vols’ likely QB of the future leaves me a bit worried about Worley de-commiting and going to another school where the QB position looks to be more up in the air.

But what if Worley really wants to be a Vol regardless of the current situation? His presence at spring camp might prove interesting at the least. And, red-shirted or not, his role as a rival for the top QB spot a couple of years from now might just make a lot of us look back at this season’s QB controversy.

Remember that Bray is 4-0 as a starting QB, but that perfect mark is against the likes of Memphis, a 4-8 Ole Miss, a poor Vandy, and a team that hasn’t defeated Tennessee for 26 straight years.

Could Worley be leading the Vols to challenge for the SEC crown in the coming years instead of our current freshman flame?


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2 responses to “Another Quarterback Competition in the Making?”

  1. rockytop78 says :

    I recall back in 1994 (boy, that makes me sound like a geezer) when we had a quarterback controversy involving Peyton Manning and Brandon Stewart (after Jerry Colquitt and Todd Helton were both knocked out of playing); but that was on the field, and the better man won — Brandon Stewart ultimately transferred to Texas A&M where he became the starting QB, and had a decent, although not stellar, career there.

    I also seem to recall that Brandon Stewart’s father was excessively involved in lobbying for his son to be named the starting QB for Tennessee; and that after Peyton was selected, Brandon Stewart’s father basically made the decision to have his son transfer to Texas A&M.

    I don’t know whether Bray or Worly have overbearing fathers; if so, there may be more drama in this situation than necessary. Once Worley enrolls early, the best thing may be for him — if he doesn’t beat out Bray in the Spring — would be the red-shirt route; that would give him an extra year to follow Bray. But since there are so many elite athletes that seek instant gratification, I wonder if Worley (assuming that he is behind Bray in the quarterback race) would have the patience. I guess we can only trust Dooley’s character judgment about Worley, because I feel certain that Dooley would not have promised Worley a starting job — only the chance to earn it.

    • Norcalvol says :

      It’s nice to have problems like this, rather than the problems we’ve had to endure recently.

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