It’s been a winding journey, but the Vols appear to have their quarterback in the 2017 signing class.
Will McBride of League City, Tex., flipped his commitment from the Memphis Tigers to the Vols late on Tuesday evening, giving the Vols their signal caller in this class after going through several other possibilities.
Go Vols!!! pic.twitter.com/v7kxhwle6E
— Will McBride (@willmcbride_) December 14, 2016
Tennessee initially got a commitment from five-star prospect Hunter Johnson in the summer of 2015. He, however, flipped his commitment to Clemson a few months later. Connecticut prospect C.J. Lewis was the next QB to commit to the Vols, but after a subpar senior season, the two sides went different ways a few weeks back.
Bubba Thompson of Mobile, Ala., a two-sport athlete who wants to play football and baseball in college, appeared to be UT’s newest target as of a couple months ago, but perhaps fears about his future in the MLB Draft caused the Vols to look around more.
They then evaluated and offered McBride, a a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 37 dual-threat QB in the nation by 247Sports, in the past weeks, had him on campus and got him to flip from the Tigers. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound QB also holds offers Boise State, Utah, Purdue and a handful of other FBS programs.
McBride completed 129-of-223 passes (57.8%) for 2,032 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions, while running for 359 yards and a pair of scores on 60 carries as well during his senior year, according to MaxPreps.com.
He’ll walk into a crowded quarterback competition for Tennessee, but will also provide much-needed insurance for a program with a fair amount of uncertainty at the position after the departure of senior Joshua Dobbs this year. Junior Quinten Dormady is expected to primarily compete with redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano for the starting nod in 2017 for Tennessee with redshirt sophomore Sheriron Jones also in the mix.
So while McBride very well could be fourth on the depth chart initially, he could also quickly ascend if any of the others opt to transfer due to losing out on the starting job next year. T
hat possibility made quarterback a need in this 2017 class – a need that has now been met after McBride’s flip on Tuesday evening.