Second coming of Heath?

Like Heath Shuler, he grew up in North Carolina. Like Shuler, he wowed college recruiters with a powerful right arm and surprisingly quick feet. Like Shuler, he elected to play college football for the University of Tennessee.

Can redshirt freshman Jonathan Crompton, currently UT's No. 2 quarterback, be the second coming of Heath Shuler? Tennessee fans would like that. Crompton would like that, too.

"Heath's a great guy and one of my best friends in the world," Crompton said recently. "If I need anything I can just call him and talk to him about it. I love him to death and I think the world of him."

The two quality QBs met several years ago and quickly became fast friends. Crompton knew Shuler had starred at Tennessee but says the ex-Vol didn't try to lobby on behalf of his alma mater.

"I met him at a high school football game, I think, and we got to be friends," Crompton recalled. "He helped me out with some things … not recruiting, though. He knew it was illegal and I knew it was illegal and we didn't want to get anything started."

Although Shuler enjoyed a standout career as a Vol quarterback and was the third overall pick in the NFL Draft following his junior year, he never shared a lot of insights with his talented pal.

"He didn't really talk to me about technique or anything," Crompton recalled. "That came from my dad and my high school coach. As far as being a college quarterback, Heath just said to go out there and have fun, watch a lot of film and play your game."

Yep. That's pretty much the way Heath did it.

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