Vol QB decision due late Friday

Tennessee's quarterback derby continued Thursday without a conclusion.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer said after practice that offensive coordinator Dave Clawson and he would evaluate the latest footage and announce their decision on this weekend's starter after Friday's walk-through at Neyland Stadium. The Vols host Northern Illinois on Saturday in a 7 p.m. Eastern time kickoff.

"This gives us another day to continue to look at it and be complete and thorough in our decision," Fulmer said. "We're looking for the very best guy who can help us win football games and this is the way we've decided to handle it.

"If it was just clear-cut, we probably already would have made the decision. Both of them are competing; both of them have had good weeks. So we're going to evaluate the film and see where we are."

Jonathan Crompton has been the starter through Tennessee's first four games -- only the second, third, fourth and fifth starts of his career. Nick Stephens stood second on the depth chart until this week, when the coaching staff decided to bracket the two signal-callers in hopes of giving the offense a jump-start.

The Vols coach says he's simply looking for someone that finds a rhythm.

"It just depends on who's got the hot hand. At quarterback, you don't want to be going in and out a whole bunch.

"There's a good competition and both of them have taken that challenge; that's what you like to see. Jonathan certainly has taken it and Nick is trying to seize the opportunity."

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