After going a perfect 10-of-10 passing in the Vols’ Orange and White Game, junior Quinten Dormady is the perceived favorite to win Tennessee’s starting quarterback job. But that battle is far from over, and Dormady knows he’ll have to fight off redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano every step of the way.
But that fierce competition isn’t bleeding over into the quarterback room in a negative way according to Dormady.
“We have good camaraderie,” Dormady said after the Vols’ first practice of fall camp on Saturday. “The room is fun and energetic. We get a lot accomplished throughout our meetings and the camaraderie in the quarterback room is really good.”
It’s not all good times and great feelings, however. Dormady and Guarantano both know what’s at stake, and Butch Jones and other coaches have told them multiple times to “compete, don’t compare.”
And how easy is that advice to follow?
“Not hard at all,” Dormady said. “You come in to each and every day and set a goal, something you want to achieve for that day. That’s all I’ve been worried about, just focusing on the details, the fundamentals. Things are going to fall into place.
“You just have to find those one or two things to build on each and every day.”
One of those things Dormady is building off of is the work he and his teammates put in during 7-on-7 drills over the summer. It was the first time under Butch Jones that the Vols had been allowed to participate in that type of work over the summer, and Dormady believes it provided a solid foundation for the team this fall.
“I think that it was just a good fundamental base for being able to translate it out here,” Dormady said of the 7-on-7 work. “We got some good work in in the summer with the receivers. For us to be able to do that, I thought it was a good building block. That’s how you build is by getting reps, so the more reps we got this summer, the more that was going to help us out here today. I think that did translate.”
Another aspect Dormady is working on is his leadership and commanding presence as a quarterback. Butch Jones has said in the past he wants his quarterbacks to be “alpha males” and the CEO of the offense, and Dormady is working on becoming both. Especially when it comes to leading the team vocally.
“There’s a time and a place (to be vocal),” Dormady stated. “Each guy reacts differently to that. Being around the team, being around my teammates and getting to know them on a personal level, that’s what kind of brings that out. I feel like I can get on some guys but some guys don’t necessarily respond to that. There are different guys that respond differently.
“I’m not just going to yell just to yell at people. But if there’s something that needs to be changed, and it’s happening over and over again, then that would be the time I would do that. There’s a time and a place for it.”
Dormady, just like Guarantano, was asked about the possibility of Tennessee running a dual-quarterback offense. And just like Guaratano, Dormady stated that if that’s what Jones and the coaches want to do, he’s willing to do it.
“We’re here to win a championship, whatever we have to do to get there,” Dormady said. “I think that as an overall team and our offensive unit, people are definitely willing to do that. Whatever happens, we’ll go with it and do our best to try to get us back to the top.”