An early look at the Vols' options at QB

Everyone wants to know who will start at quarterback for the University of Tennessee when the Volunteers line up against Western Kentucky next month for the team's season opener. After two days of fall camp, the decision on who will be the starter doesn't appear to be in the near future. Go inside this exclusive look at our take on the quarterback race.

Everyone wants to know who will start at quarterback for the University of Tennessee when the Volunteers line up against Western Kentucky next month for the team's season opener.

After two days of fall camp, the decision on who will be the starter doesn't appear to be in the near future.

While there several options, five to be exact, no one has stepped up and taken over the position after the first two days on the practice field.

The five vying for the starting role include Senior Jonathan Crompton, Junior Nick Stephens, Sophomore JC Transfer Nick Lamaison, walk-on Mike Rozier and walk-on Mike Fromke.

It's apparent after the first two days of practice that no one has stood out above the rest, but the good news is that several have shown signs of promise.

This reporter decided to ask another member of the media during practice No. 1 if you had to decide between A, B, C, D or E for a starter today who would it be. Here was the response:

"Is there a 'none of the above' option?"

While that's not the case, the good news is that Lane Kiffin and company have several weeks to find not only a signal caller for the offense but the leader of their team.

Each quarterback has his strengths and weaknesses, and all have had their moments during the first two practices.

Here is one take on each candidate for the starting role.

Jonathan Crompton

Crompton is the senior of the bunch and is hoping to have a break out season under the new coaching staff. This is his third offensive coordinator in three years, something that can't be helping the situation.

Crompton has shown good arm strength and throws a pretty spiral. He looks really good against air throwing to the receivers but struggles at time in seven-on-seven and other drills against the defense.

He threw one of his best passes towards the end of Wednesday's practice, a 30-yard strike down the left sidelines.

Needs to work on consistency, accuracy and confidence.

At this point appears to have a slight lead in the race, but needs to take a better command of the offense from both a performance and leadership standpoint.

Nick Stephens

His work ethic is apparent just by looking at him. He spent most of the spring and summer getting himself in the best physical condition of his life. He has put on at least 10- to 15-pounds of muscle and appears eager and hungry to learn the new system and help his team be successful.

So far in practice he has shown that he has the strongest arm, but it also apparent that he is struggling with a throwing motion that the new coaching staff has been working to improve. He doesn't seem comfortable yet, something that could happen. If it does, he may be able to win the position.

Accuracy is the key here, along with making the right decisions, which should comes as he becomes more comfortable with himself and the offense. He has the personality and the swagger to be the leader of this team, just needs to settle some into the role.

Nick Lamaison

A junior college transfer that has three years of eligibility. It's obvious that he has been a quarterback in a spread offense. He is definitely a thrower, but also appears to be somewhat of a slinger.

He will have to make the adjustment to the pro-style offense, with one of the key things being adapting to taking snaps under center. He has adequate arm strength, maybe not as strong as Crompton and Stephens.

He will have to work on accuracy and consistency, two key common threads in all the quarterbacks for the Vols.

Mike Rozier

An older young man that has the experience of playing professional baseball. His maturity shows in his poise in the pocket and the touch he puts on the football. He has good arm strength and is a lefty. It will be interesting to see how he picks up the offense.

If he progresses well, it will be interesting to see if the Vols will use Rozier as the No. 3 guy and allow Lamaison to be red-shirted. It's way too early for that decision to be made.

Rozier shows signs of greatness, but also signs he hasn't played the game of football in a while. He could definitely be the dark horse in this race, especially for the No. 2 or No. 3 spot.

It will be fun to watch his progression in the next couple of weeks.

Mike Fromke

A walk on quarterback, a hometown native from Knoxville Christian Academy. It's easy to pick out he is the young pup of the bunch. He is smaller than the rest of the signal callers and comes from a small classification of football. It will take some time to adjust to the speed of the college game.

His role will most likely be on the scout team with the hopes of earning a scholarship as he learns the offensive system.

Overall Summation

What quarterback will step up and take charge in the next two weeks will claim the starting role?

It will be interesting to see which one can show the most poise under pressure and the most poise while learning a new system.

The jury is still out on the final verdict, but expect a decision in the next couple of weeks, stay tuned.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories