Tennessee QB Riley Ferguson expected to leave team

NCAA Football: Tennessee-Spring Game

Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Riley Ferguson isn’t expected to return to the team, Butch Jones said today.

“As of right now, based on our recent conversations, we do not anticipate that he will be a member of our football family moving forward,” Jones said.

Ferguson’s departure would leave Tennessee with three candidates for the starting job in Justin Worley (SR), Josh Dobbs (SO) and Nathan Peterman (SO). However, Ferguson was always figured as the ‘wildcard’ signal caller who we knew the least about, and several projected Ferguson to land the starting job at some point in the 2014 season.

Jones indicated today at the SEC spring meetings that Ferguson’s decision has really transpired over the last several days after being home¬†between summer academic sessions.¬†

Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports



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  • While OTOH this shocks me, when I really think about it, it’s not that surprising. RF and his family has made it clear many times that he wanted to start – they were on the radio talking about him possibly starting at Bama last season but instead when Worley got injured Dobbs got the call over RF. After RF’s spring game performance, which was pretty bad (sacks, INTs, fumbles), it was clear just how much work he needed to put in. Riley has all kinds of talent but he’s raw – big arm but he’s got a lot of Tyler Bray in him (thinks he can skip learning to read defenses and run on talent alone but he can’).

    Combine that with the VAST improvement of Dobbs and Worley and he’d slipped to 3rd on the depth chart imo (although we have no depth chart). Even Nate Peterman looked tons better but Riley was disappointing (he’d been hyped all spring because of his arm and was expected to set the world on fire). Instead he looked more like an true frosh going through his first spring rather than a RS Frosh who’d been in the system a year.

    He’s also on a team that requires at least some running by it’s QB (Riley rushed for negative yards in the Spring game). He was recruited to be a pocket passer and would very likely work better in a different system. Given all that, and especially his desire to start and start now, he may be better off transferring. Being an RS Frosh gives him 4 years to play somewhere else.

    Wish him well wherever he goes. Hopefully he’ll find a good place for him.

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