Tag Archives: Riley Ferguson

QB Quinten Dormady gives Vols pro-style passer in 2015 class

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeQuinten Dormady came to Knoxville over the weekend for what he thought be the first of many stops on a college tour through the South.

But when Tennessee made it clear that he not only had an offer, but it was an offer that coaches wanted — and needed — him to decide on soon, Dormady scaled back his decision to just two teams: Alabama and UT.

The decision gives the Vols a second quarterback in the 2015 class. (And Jauan Jennings has insisted that he is a quarterback, not an athlete or a safety).

Dormady’s arrival will also help replenish the depth at quarterback after Riley Ferguson‘s recent decision to transfer. Justin Worley will graduate after this season, leaving only Joshua Dobbs, Nathan Peterman and whoever UT signs in this class on the 2015 roster.

Given those numbers, and the questions about Jenning’s ultimate college position, could the Vols sneak a third quarterback into this class? It might be tough (or impossible) to snare another elite quarterback with two other potential competitors already committed. But maybe a late addition just before Signing Day? A late surprise (like Dobbs)? Or maybe even a wildcard from the junior college ranks?

There’s plenty of time left until February. Stay tuned.

With QB a priority, Vols in battle for 5-star Torrance Gibson

Torrance Gibson (photo by 247Sports, a KNS partner)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Riley Ferguson‘s departure has highlighted Tennessee’s need for another quarterback in the Class of 2015.

There are few bigger targets than dual-threat quarterback Torrance GibsonAuburn and Tennessee are leading the seven-team race for his signature. Helpfully, Gibson has been tweeting and blogging about the recruiting process.

247Sports recruiting analyst Ryan Callahan chatted about Gibson’s visit to Auburn in today’s installment of GVX Audio. Gibson could visit Tennessee as soon as this weekend, but Callahan said the race should continue for some time.

The Vols already have Jauan Jennings in the fold. He’s a four-star athlete from Murfreesboro who is being recruited by most schools as a quarterback. Many think he could also be an elite college safety.

Butch Jones wishes Riley Ferguson well, but focusing on current players

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — If there’s even a sliver of hope that quarterback Riley Ferguson will return to the Tennessee football team, coach Butch Jones is doing nothing to encourage it.

Asked about Ferguson on Saturday night, Jones said “We wish him well,” but that he preferred to talk about the players who were on the team.

That does not include Ferguson.

UT could choose to place restrictions on Ferguson’s transfer, but I’m told no decision has been made on that front yet.

Ferguson hasn’t made a public statement (or tweet) since news of his departure became public, but the assumption is that he would like to join his brother at the start-up football program at UNC-Charlotte.

Tennessee’s offense after Riley Ferguson: QB’s departure is bad news for 2014

Riley Ferguson in an interview this spring (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeRiley Ferguson has been the perfect subject for that segment of the fan base prone to extreme and sudden swings of emotion.

A few weeks ago, according to some, he was the best the quarterback on the team. (His main qualification for that honor was that he was the only who had yet to take a college snap.)

Today, just as many contend that his departure is no big deal, and the Vols will be fine without him.

In fact, when he surprised coaches with the news that he didn’t plan to return to Knoxville, Ferguson still had a shot of winning the starting quarterback job. Despite a bumpy spring, I still think he had the best chance of any of the three competitors vying to unseat senior Justin Worley.

That’s what makes his departure so stunning. Coaches had invested a lot of time and effort into his development for a reason. They thought — and still think — he could be a good SEC quarterback. And now he appears to be ready to transfer to a lower-division team without even taking a snap?

Ferguson hasn’t returned a request for comment, so we haven’t heard his side of his decision to transfer. But he apparently indicated to coaches that he felt more comfortable back home.

Twitter myths notwithstanding, coaches didn’t “run off” Ferguson. They wanted him to stay. In fact, Butch Jones has carefully parsed every comment he makes about the quarterback situation with the express intent of discouraging anyone from transferring.

Ferguson did not arrive on campus with the same maturity as, say, Joshua Dobbs. Ferguson was high-maintenance. And he was certainly not out of quarterback central casting like his three other colleagues. But he had enough natural talent that coaches were to work with his strengths while they tried to fix his flaws.

If one quarterback seizes the reins of the offense this spring and stays healthy, Ferguson might be largely forgotten by November. But if the Vols suffer a rash of injuries  (like they did in 2013) or if none of the quarterbacks perform consistently (again, see 2013) then the loss of the inscrutable but talented Ferguson will really sting.

Tennessee spring football: Catching up on video, photos and .gifs from Day 3

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Tennessee football doesn’t practice on Wednesday, and by the time the Vols return to action on Thursday, the temperature may have dropped from 72 to 32.

Bugs swarm around Haslam Field on Tuesday (photos by Evan Woodbery)

On a positive note, that might kill the bugs that plagued Tuesday’s practice. And, yes, I made a .gif of them, too.

For some much better photos, check out Adam Lai’s gallery here.

Butch Jones wasn’t entirely pleased with Tuesday’s practice, the first in full pads. He said some of the newcomers weren’t prepared for the pace. He called out one player for putting his hands on his hips — a big no-no in Jones’ world.

Beyond that, what conclusions can we draw through three practices — 20 percent of the spring total? Not a whole lot. All four quarterbacks are getting reps, and we’ve heard good things about Riley Ferguson. I would still be surprised if there’s a firm decision by the end of spring.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs throws a pass to Justus Pickett (photos by Evan Woodbery)

Running backs break down the huddle during practice (photo by Evan Woodbery)

Depth at the running back spot seems at least serviceable behind Marlin Lane and Jalen Hurd. That’s a good thing because two more scholarship backs are arriving this summer.

Emmanuel Moseley (photos by Evan Woodbery)

In the secondary, coaches clearly like Emmanuel Moseley a lot and are grooming the freshman for a big role in 2014. He’s working as the “first team” cornerback now, with Justin Coleman working at nickel.

Multimedia review of Tennessee spring football, Day 1 (videos, photos)

Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — We spoke to Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt for the first time in eight months and quarterback Riley Ferguson (left) for the first time ever after Friday’s practice at Haslam Field.

You can read more about those two key players on GoVolsXtra, which has tons of content from today, some free and some only for subscribers.

While you’re here, however, check out my photos, the full gallery and some great videos from Erin Chapin.

The Vols only have a few hours off before going back for Day 2. Tennessee practices at 9:20 a.m. on Saturday. Practices are closed to the public.

Tennessee spring practice 2014: The quarterbacks

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With spring practice less than a week away, we’re revisiting some of our projections from the post-season. Today: The quarterbacks.

Tennessee quarterbacks in practice (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee used three of its four quarterbacks this year, so perhaps it’s predictable that the one quarterback who didn’t play is the fan favorite to win the job in 2014.

Redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson does, in fact, have a strong chance of earning the No. 1 spot, but the race should be every bit as wide open as it was over the summer.

Justin Worley, who will be a senior, had two solid games in October when the Vols were playing their best. Joshua Dobbs got valuable experience after Worley was hurt. Nathan Peterman will have to overcome a rough performance at Florida.

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