When Tennessee’s new coaching staff added J.T. Shrout to the Vols’ 2018 signing class, Vol fans were caught off guard at first. Shrout had no connection to Tennessee until offensive coordinator Tyson Helton was hired, and he was relatively overlooked. Shrout was a three-star and rated as low as the No. 990 overall player in the country by 247Sports.
But it appears that Shrout could be a diamond in the rough in a few years for Tennessee. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports raved about Shrout’s mechanics at a big time QB camp in the summer of 2017, and NFL scouts were impressed with what Shrout did. But even with that, Shrout failed to leap up recruiting boards and only ended up with two Power Five offers.
Pruitt and his staff are going after some highly-rated quarterbacks in the 2019 class, but they’re also on the lookout for overlooked quarterbacks like Shrout. And they may have found one in Louisiana quarterback Travis Mumphrey.
Mumphrey is just a three-star and is rated as the No. 1,042 overall player in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Vols extended an offer to him a couple weeks ago, and they were only the third Power Five program to give him a scholarship offer.
And that offer from Tennessee shocked Mumphrey.
“I was surprised by the call,” Mumphrey told me during a phone interview. “I was at my friend’s house, and my dad called me and told me to come home for a second. I called the number on FaceTime, and I didn’t know who it was at first because I hadn’t had any contact with Tennessee at all.
“Then it was (Vols’ wide receivers coach David Johnson) and he was talking to me for a moment, and then eventually he put me on the phone with coach Pruitt. Then coach Pruitt gave me the heads up that I had an offer.”
Mumphrey may just be a three-star, but his film and stats speak for themselves. He plays for John Ehret High School in Louisiana, one of the top high schools in the New Orleans area. After an 0-10 season in 2012, the Patriots have gone 52-15 the last five years. They’ve produced several high quality players, and Mumphrey helped lead them to a 9-4 mark and a playoff run last season.
Not only was Mumphrey a leader on the team, but he put up some solid numbers. As a junior last year, Mumphrey threw for 1,956 yards, 19 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while adding 605 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 93 carries.
But his completion percentage is what really stands out.
Mumphrey attempted just 186 passes last season, but he completed a whopping 75.8 percent of those attempts. Most dual-threat quarterbacks can run exceptionally well just like Mumphrey can, but very few possess that type of accuracy.
“I’m more accurate than a normal dual-threat quarterback,” Mumphrey stated. “I just have a lot of confidence in myself that I can complete any pass on the field. It’s really just my confidence level.”
Mumphrey, who says he models himself after what E.J. Manuel and Jameis Winston did at Florida State as well as Cam Newton at Auburn, visited Tennessee last weekend after picking up the offer from the Vols. He’s been in contact with current four-star Vol commit Te’Cory Couch, and he says that current Tennessee defensive back Terrell Bailey “is like my cousin.”
And so far, Mumphrey likes what he’s hearing from Tennessee.
“I had a real good impression,” he said. “They’re the first big SEC school to take a chance on me. I’m not a big name in the recruiting circuit, but they want to take a chance on me.”
So why is it that a player like Mumphrey, who’s put up impressive numbers at a solid school, hasn’t hit the national radar yet? He has an idea why.
“I’m not the ideal height for a quarterback,” he stated. “I’m only 6-1, and an ideal height is like 6-2 to 6-4. I think that’s a big reason why.”
He may not have ideal height, but Mumphrey has ideal intangibles. If he can go out and make some impressions at camps over the summer and put up a good senior year, expect to see his name in the national spotlight a lot more.