Butch Jones: UT freshmen QBs Dobbs, Ferguson pushing veterans


Tennessee’s offense is searching for playmakers, specifically at the skill positions. And no position is more pertinent on Butch Jones’ brain than quarterback.

While speaking on the Sports Animal in Knoxville, Jones talked about his team transforming their bodies though offseason conditioning, but he also added a little nugget about his two freshmen quarterbacks Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson, via Knoxville News Sentinel.

“We’re very fortunate to have two of the finest quarterbacks in the country come here,” he said. “I’m ecstatic about those individuals. Word has it they’re pushing (veteran quarterbacks) Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman.

“I think we’re going to look back at this (2013) class that was assembled in 31 days and say there were some real difference-makers that really propelled Tennessee football.”

Per NCAA rules, the coaching staff cannot oversee practices over the summer. And the one coach that spends the most time with the team over the summer is strength and conditioning coach Dave Lawson.

Veterans Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman played solid this spring, but neither really took the job by the horns and ran with it. Therefore, there’s still a competition to win and position of question for Jones and his staff.

Although Worley has the most experience the last two years, Peterman may be the better immediate fit for the offensive philosophy because he’s more mobile.

Freshmen Dobbs and Ferguson were both Elite 11 quarterbacks, and we know they can toss it around the yard. Dobbs looks more like the quarterback for Jones’ system, but Jones has contested in the past that he’ll build his offense around the strengths of the quarterback – pro-style or dual-threat – whoever it may be.

Above all, Jones’ philosophy doesn’t hinge on a drop-back or read-option quarterback, because he can win with either. Jones just wants a signal caller who can make good decisions in the passing game, handle the pressure of being a big-time quarterback and execute the offense the way he and his staff see fit.

If that’s Dobbs or Ferguson, Jones won’t hesitate to make the decision to start a freshman.

Photo Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports



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