No QB for 2009?
When Lane Kiffin took over as head coach of the Volunteers, we had two QB committments for the class of 2009. One was 4-star prospect Tahj Boyd, who is the third ranked dual-threat quarterback according to Rivals.com. The other commitment was Bryce Petty, a relatively unknown 3-star pro-style quarterback out of Texas. In the last three weeks, Coach Kiffin has spoken with both recruits and told them that neither fits in his system. Each has since decommitted to UT.
Now, according to my calculations, that leaves us with no QB
committments for the 2009 class. But that’s ok, because we already have three QBs on the depth chart, right? Oh wait, those are the same three QBs who couldn’t hit a wall two feet in front of them. Those are the same QBs that helped lead Tennessee to a 5-7 record. Each was given an opportunity to lead the Vols at some point this past season, and none of them were able to do it. Each of these QBs was given the chance to be UT’s starting quarterback, and each of them lost the job.
So where are we now, you ask? At zero QBs, I believe.
Is Coach Kiffin frightened of this alarming fact? In a recent interview, it doesn’t seem like he is.
Well, maybe it’s because Coach Kiffin has something up his sleeve. A surprise commitment from a top QB recruit, perhaps? Here are a few of the many names being spoken about as a possiblility: There’s Aaron Murray, a 4-star out of Tampa, Fla. who is already committed to the University of Georgia, but is also going to have to compete with another highly rated QB, Zach Mettenberger of Watinsville, Ga. He has supposedly already been contacted by Stan Drayton. Next up is Matt Barkley of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif, the biggest name out there for Vol fans. Barkley is the #1 QB according to Rivals.com, and is already verbally committed to USC, but like Murray he will face stiff competition at his new school, something he wouldn’t have to worry much about at UT, where we have no real quarterback. And he was supposedly intrigued at UT’s hiring of Lane Kiffin. The last name I’ve heard spoken in a serious context is 4-star QB Allan Bridgfor, who is currently committed to Cal. However, it has been reported that UT is trying to gauge his interest and see if they can switch his commitment over to Tennessee.
Any of these three recruits would be a huge addition to a 2009 class in need of a QB commitment. All of them seem to fit Kiffin’s system, and most people believe they have been contacted by our new head coach. But in all honesty, it would take an act of God to pry one of these recruits away from the school they are already committed to. Now, the thought of no QB for this class is just a little scary. Coach Kiffin’s response to this alarming fact: “We may not take a quarterback in this class, and I’m OK with that.”
Kiffin says we have some “good quarterbacks” on our roster. I’m not sure what roster he’s been looking at. He says he’s studied film. Is that film from last year, or is it from high school, when these quarterbacks actually played like quarterbacks?
I think Kiffin is nervous about what the next year will bring with these three QBs. But he can’t tell the media that. So instead, he talks about how he’s not going to evaluate our quarterbacks based on last year’s work (if he did, he’d probably pull their scholarships.) He talks about how he’s OK with not bringing in a new QB. But in all honesty, he’s probably shaking in his new, shiny, orange boots.
Crompton. Stevens. Coleman. These are the cards Kiffin has been dealt, and it looks like he’ll have to play with them, as the chance to sign a QB for the 2009 class is slowly disappearing.