Tennessee already has a highly-rated quarterback committed to them in their 2020 class. But it’s becoming more apparent as the 2020 cycle heats up that the Vols are continuing to do their due diligence at the QB position and might be intent on bringing in two signal-callers in this class. Since signing Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator, the Vols have offered a small handful of other quarterbacks in the class, and now they’ll be getting a visit from an intriguing dual-threat quarterback soon.
Jacolby Criswell is a four-star quarterback out of Morrilton, Arkansas. He tweeted out on Thursday that he plans on taking several visits soon, and one of those trips will be over to Knoxville.
I will be visiting these schools next month:
Ole Miss, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Houston, and Auburn.
— Jacolby Criswell (@JacolbyCriswell) February 21, 2019
Per the 247Sports Composite rankings, Criswell is the No. 364 overall prospect and No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 class. The regular 247Sports rankings have him quite a big higher, ranking him as the 257th overall player and No. 6 dual-threat QB in the 2020 cycle. Both rankings have Criswell listed as the No. 1 player in the state of Arkansas.
Right now, Criswell doesn’t actually hold a scholarship offer from the Vols, so his trip to Knoxville might be to work out in front of UT’s coaches so they can see him in person. He does, however, hold offers from Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, and several other schools.
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It’s also worth noting that Jim Chaney saw Criswell work out in person when he was still the offensive coordinator at Georgia, so Chaney is at least familiar with what kind of athlete and QB Criswell is.
The 6-foot-1, 203-pound Criswell is a very gifted athlete and thrower. He has a strong arm, and he’s surprisingly accurate with his deeper passes. Watching him release some of his deep passes, it amazes me that they end up being spot-on and in a great place for his receivers to catch them. Mechanically, he’s not the greatest quarterback you’ll ever see. It takes him longer than you’d like to release his passes, but he’s actually pretty accurate on a number of his throws. He can pass accurately on the run, doesn’t get flustered from pressure, and doesn’t appear to be a run-first type of QB. He does, however, have good speed when he takes off, and his large frame is hard to take down.
Criswell only appeared in the last five games of the year for Morrilton because he suffered an injury before the season even started. It was feared he was done for the season, but he was able to come back and helped lead Morrilton to the playoffs.
When Criswell took over during Morrilton’s game against Farmington on October 26th, the Devil Dogs were a 4-4 football team. Criswell helped lead his team to a 52-30 victory over Farmington, then he would help the Devil Dogs win the remaining three games in the regular season. They lost 61-42 in the first round of the playoffs to Little Rock Christian Academy.
In his five games as a junior, Criswell completed 61.8 percent of his 123 pass attempts for 1,109 yards, 11 touchdowns, and just three interceptions while also running for 317 yards and three scores on 53 carries according to MaxPreps.
As a sophomore in 2017, Criswell completed 59.7 percent of his 211 passes for 1,947 yards, 20 touchdowns, and four interceptions while adding 969 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in 12 games.
Tennessee already has four-star, top-100 overall player Harrison Bailey committed to them in their 2020 class, and Bailey has already been a strong peer recruiting for the Vols’ 2020 class and seems to like Jim Chaney and UT’s reshuffled offensive staff. But UT may be looking to add a second quarterback to this class, and Criswell’s visit in the coming weeks will be one to watch, especially if he picks up an offer while he’s in Knoxville.