Crompton due breakout year?

After spending 2008 being roasted by Tennessee fans, one Vol quarterback could spend 2009 being toasted by the same folks.

At least, that's the future analyst Pete Fiutak projects for Big Orange senior Jonathan Crompton.

Crompton started the first four games last fall, went 1-3, surrendered the first-team job to Nick Stephens for six games, then started the season-ending defeats of Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Crompton finished with a 51.5 completion percentage, 4 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a 3-3 record as the starter.

With the arrival of a new head coach (Lane Kiffin) and a new offensive coordinator (Jim Chaney), many observers figured Tennessee would go in a new direction at quarterback – handing the reins to either Stephens or rising sophomore B. J. Coleman. With Stephens limited by a fractured wrist, however, Crompton came out of spring practice No. 1 on the depth chart. Coleman then announced he was transferring to Chattanooga.

Based on what he saw during UT's spring camp, Fiutak believes Crompton is going to bounce back in a big way this fall. The writer expresses this opinion in today's lead story at It's entitled SEC Blogger Roundtable Discussion, Part 2. Under the heading "Which unknown players do you expect to explode based on a great spring practice?" Fiutak mentions three candidates. Here's what he has to say about Crompton:

"At Tennessee, I don't know if QB Jonathan Crompton will even get the starting job, with Nick Stephens fitting the offense better, but he sure looked the part throughout spring ball hitting everyone in the numbers. He won't run, but he can throw well enough to do more under the new coaching staff."

Blogger Billy Gomila pegs another member of the Vol passing attack as one of his four projected SEC breakout players for 2009. He writes:

"Looking around the conference, here are a few other players who could make a name for themselves in 2009: Tight end/receiver Brandon Warren, Tennessee – Lane Kiffin has traditionally run tight-end friendly offenses, and the limitations of Vol quarterbacks could funnel a lot of catches Warren's way."

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