Vols' QB battle likely to continue this summer

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm •  Published: April 11, 2014
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Butch Jones is still waiting for someone to separate themselves from the rest in the Volunteers' four-man quarterback competition as spring practice draws to a close.

Jones wants to see one of his quarterbacks emerge as the type of "alpha male" who can lead an offense. Senior Justin Worley, redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson and sophomores Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman will get a chance to show that trait Saturday in the Orange & White Game.

"That's what I'm waiting for, someone to take hold, take grasp and say, 'I am the quarterback of Tennessee,'" Jones said. "You have to earn that right every single day. You have to bring it every single day. You have to have tremendous juice and energy to play that position because they feed off of you. I think that's what makes Johnny Manziel so special. Johnny Manziel brings it every single day."

Worley and Ferguson got more work than Dobbs and Peterman at a practice last weekend that included scrimmage situations. Jones has said he expects the competition to continue into training camp as the Vols prepare for their Aug. 31 season opener with Utah State.

Worley started seven games last season before undergoing season-ending thumb surgery. Dobbs started the final four games of the season and Peterman made one start. Ferguson redshirted last year and had a leg injury that limited him for much of the season.

Jones wants to see more from all his quarterbacks. Jones said he was disappointed in how the quarterbacks had performed during Thursday's practice. He said Ferguson showed the most leadership of the four on that particular day, "but not to our standard by which we're going to play quarterback here at Tennessee."

"Playing quarterback at the University of Tennessee is not a sometime thing," Jones said. "It's an all-the-time thing."

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