Crompton's adjusting

You'd think redshirt freshman quarterback Jonathan Crompton would be overwhelmed by all of the new techniques, terminology and schemes he's being asked to learn this spring. Not so. He says Tennessee's change in offensive coordinators from Randy Sanders to David Cutcliffe has been remarkably smooth.

In fact, Crompton believes junior quarterbacks Erik Ainge and Bo Hardegree, along with senior walk-on Jim Bob Cooter, probably have faced a bigger adjustment than he has.

"I was under Coach Sanders but I didn't play for him," Crompton noted. "It's a little different for Erik and Bo and Jim Bob. They were here for awhile and got used to Coach Sanders, so now they've got to change."

Still, Crompton believes the change in Tennessee's offense is relatively minor. Cutcliffe has added some new wrinkles, but it's the same basic system the Vols ran under Sanders.

"It's not as complicated as everybody thinks," Crompton said. "It's similar to what Coach Sanders ran because Coach Sanders learned under him (Cutcliffe). It's not that much different."

So how far along is Crompton's grasp of the offense these days?

"I feel comfortable," he said. "Every day you get a little confused, but he (Cutcliffe) explains it so you're good. You just play football. That's all there is to it."

At 6-4 and 230 pounds Jonathan Crompton has all the physical tools to be a star – height, strength, a strong arm, nice touch and good mobility. Like all young QBs, he just needs to convince the staff he's mentally capable of managing the offense. Asked if he senses the coaches are assessing him mentally more than physically this spring, Crompton shrugged.

"I don't really know what they're looking for, honestly," he said matter of factly.

Crompton grew up in Waynesville, N.C., reasonably close to the Clemson campus. The proximity made that his favorite school for a while. When Tennessee began contacting him, though, the Vols quickly soared to the top of his list. Why?

"Honestly, I don't know," Crompton said. "Clemson was my favorite team growing up. I liked Tennessee, too, because Clemson and Tennessee were the two closest schools to my house."

Crompton was just beginning to look at the Vols as a possible college option when they won the 1998 national title. That probably helped the Big Orange's chances a bit.

Crompton grinned at the suggestion: "It didn't hurt any."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories