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Media Day Notes: Dormady Named Backup QB

Quinten Dormady-1-2

While much of Friday evening’s Tennessee Media Day session centered on a first look at the players wearing their new Nike home uniforms, there were some notes of interest from Butch Jones’ press conference held in the opening few minutes.

Jones settled the only quarterback “controversy” of the spring, officially naming true freshman Quinten Dormady the backup quarterback behind starter Joshua Dobbs. That spot essentially became a two-man battle when freshman Jauan Jennings, who worked at quarterback in the spring, moved to receiver this fall. That left Dormady and incoming freshman Sheriron Jones as the only other two scholarship quarterbacks on campus behind Dobbs.

“You can never have enough quarterbacks and both young quarterbacks have done a very, very good job, but Quinten Dormady is our No. 2 quarterback,” Jones said. “He is the No. 2 quarterback. Sheriron is progressing, and he has to be ready. Sheriron is two snaps from being in a game, so you have to pick your spots in order to get him reps, but Quinten has gained some very valuable repetitions. It’s amazing with him, to see the progress that he made in spring ball and the confidence that he gained, and really be able to grow on that.”

It’s too early to say if Sheriron Jones will be a redshirt candidate at this point, though that certainly seems like a possibility if the health of the first two holds up. It should be noted, however, that the Vols have needed three quarterbacks in both of Butch Jones’ seasons at Tennessee. Dormady, on the other hand, will play regardless.

Butch Jones said they will look to get him in a game to make sure he’s ready to go if he’s needed on a long-term basis at any point in the season.

“[Dormady’s] playing at a high level right now,” Butch Jones said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. He will play, and we have to make sure he’s ready to go, and as we know, Sheriron has to be ready to go too.”

Sleep coach?: You probably thought you’ve heard it all in terms of the number of coaches and staff members that a collegiate program has, but Butch Jones, who is a self-proclaimed lover of sports science, said that the team has been doing a better job getting sleep during camp. He even said there’s an experimental “sleep coach” who is monitoring a test group of players.

“Each young man has a sleep coach,” Jones explained, when asked how he tracks sleep. “We have about 25 players right now who have a sleep coach. They actually have a system set up underneath their mattress, and we can gauge how many hours of sleep they have. They have it on their cell phone, and they actually have goals, so they’re in competition, they’re set up in groups, and they compete, and it’s changed our kids’ mindsets.”

Jones said they are trying this system with 25 players, and may expand it in the future.

Healing up: Close to 20 players have missed time recently in practice due to various bumps and bruises sustained during camp. Jones said he hopes to have approximately 8-10 of them back when the Vols return to the practice field on Saturday. Jones didn’t go into specifics on many guys, but did say that he expects tight end Ethan Wolf to return on Saturday and said that guard Jashon Robertson (ankle) is “a few days away.”

Other notes: 

• Jones said Jakob Johnson, who moved from linebacker to tight end earlier in camp, will remain at tight end going forward.

• Asked about the punters, Jones added this interesting note: “We do have a wide receiver or two who will also punt for us, and do some different things for us as well.”

• When asked about leadership, Jones mentioned that running back Alvin Kamara, interestingly, has “become the voice of the offense.”

• Jones didn’t put an exact timetable on naming a starting offensive line, but said he’d like to soon. He mentioned that they are continuing to cross-train players, but that the freshmen are all focusing on one position. Based on what we’ve seen in practice that would be guard for Jack Jones, tackle for Chance Hall, tackle for Drew Richmond and guard for Venzell Boulware.

• There’s no formal update on receiver Preston Williams, who is still awaiting word on his eligibility, but he was in attendance and was taking pictures with the team.

A few more images from Media Day:

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