And, then there were 3

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The competition at quarterback for Tennessee this spring did not result in a confirmed starter with four right-handers all showing signs of being "the guy" at times.

That race became three-headed Tuesday afternoon as InsideTennessee sources confirm that redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson is not expected to be with the team this summer or when camp gets underway in August.

The Matthews, N.C., product would depart Knoxville without having played an official snap for the Orange & White. The former Scout three-star prospect has four years of eligibility remaining.

Ferguson completed 7 of 12 passes for 83 yards with a touchdown and an interception during April's Orange & White game in Neyland Stadium. He was sacked three times and totaled minus-7 rushing yards on six attempts.

The 6-foot-3, 189-pounder's expected exit comes just weeks shy (June 14) of the two-year anniversary of his verbal commitment to the Vols out of Butler (N.C.) High School.

Remaining at signal-caller for Team 118 on scholarship are senior Justin Worley, redshirt sophomore Nathan Peterman and sophomore Joshua Dobbs. Each of the three started at least one game for Tennessee last fall.

Worley was 11 of 13 passing for 151 yards with a TD in the spring scrimmage finale. Peterman hit on 8 of 11 for 81 yards with a score. Dobbs dazzled with a 59-yard touchdown run and completed 6 of 9 passes for 199 yards and three TDs.

Enrolling with the 2014 class as walk-on quarterbacks are Dyersburg's Will Bradshaw and Knoxville's Devin Smith.

Tennessee offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian has gone on record with IT saying that he prefers to have five scholarship triggermen on campus. If Ferguson does not return and with Worley graduating after this fall, the Orange & White are scheduled to have just two scholarship QBs available for the 2015 season.

Sources close to IT indicate that the Tennessee staff plans to sign two quarterbacks with the 2015 class. Scout five-star Torrance Gibson has gone on record naming the Volunteers as his leader. Four-star Travis Waller and three-star Sam Darnold confirmed to IT that they both plan to visit Rocky Top in June.


Discuss Ferguson's exit with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by clicking here.


Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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