Vols' in-state QBs

The Wednesday commitment of Chattanooga McCallie quarterback B.J. Coleman to Tennessee got me to thinking: What kind of success have previous in-state quarterbacks had with the Vols? I went back 50 years, and here's what I found:

ATHENS – PHIL PIERCE: Although he lettered in 1969, '70 and '71, Pierce wasn't much of a factor. He did start briefly as a senior in '71 before losing the job to Jim Maxwell.

BROWNSVILLE – WILBERT JONES: Unable to make any headway at quarterback, he switched to cornerback and found a home. Jones lettered in 1978, then started in '79 and '80.

DAYTON – ANDY KELLY: A real success story, Kelly lettered as a backup QB in 1988 and ‘89, then started in 1990 and '91. He wasn't flashy but he was effective enough to leave as UT's career leader in passing yards (6,397) and passing touchdowns (36). Though subsequently surpassed by Peyton Manning and Casey Clausen, Kelly still ranks third all-time in each category.

HARRIMAN – JEREMAINE COPELAND: Stuck behind Peyton Manning, Copeland split time between quarterback and wide receiver. He lettered in 1995, '96, '97 and ‘98, eventually developing into an excellent wideout. He ranks 11th on UT's all-time receiving list with 103 catches.

HUNTLAND – JOHNNY MAJORS: He was a single-wing tailback, to be sure, but Majors essentially filled the role of the modern-day quarterback. He started in 1954, '55 and '56, finishing runnerup for the Heisman Trophy as a senior.

JACKSON – BO HARDEGREE: Redshirted in 2003, he played sparingly in 2004 and 2005. Now a fourth-year junior, Hardegree is listed No. 3 on the depth chart entering 2006.

KNOXVILLE – TODD HELTON: He played just enough to letter in 1993, then started three games in '94 before an injury allowed some guy named Peyton Manning to move ahead of him. The rest, as they say, is history.

KNOXVILLE – CHIP HOWARD: He played sparingly in ‘71, then dropped out of contention when Condredge Holloway came on board in '72.

MEMPHIS – CHARLIE FULTON: He won the first-team role for 1965 but was injured and lost the job to Dewey Warren. Upon recovering from his injury, Fulton moved to tailback. He led the '66 Vols in rushing.

MORRISTOWN – RANDY SANDERS: He lettered in ‘85, ‘86, '87 and '88 but made just one career start, losing at Boston College in 1987. He spent most of his career backing up Jeff Francis.

NASHVILLE – JIM MAXWELL: After seeing scant action in 1970, he came from nowhere to win the starting job midway through the 1971 season. "Blue Max" ultimately guided the Vols to a 10-2 record and a No. 9 national ranking.

OAK RIDGE – JERRY COLQUITT: Following a redshirt season and three years as a backup to Andy Kelly and Heath Shuler, Colquitt finally earned the starting job in August of 1994. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear on the seventh play of the '94 opener vs. UCLA, however, and was denied a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

SEVIERVILLE – JOEY MATHEWS: He lettered as a backup in 1999 and won the starting job heading into 2000. He was ineffective in the '00 opener vs. Southern Miss, however, and lost the starting job, never to regain it. He saw mop-up action as Casey Clausen's backup in 2001.

SEVIERVILLE – JEREMY BATES: Signed in 1995 to back up Peyton Manning (no one else wanted the job), Bates spent a year riding the bench, then transferred.


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