Four-Star Dual-Threat QB to Visit Vols

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    (Photo via Stewart Nelson and Robert Garrett)

    Tennessee already has a highly-rated quarterback committed to them in their 2020 recruiting class, but UT’s coaches seem very interested in adding a second QB to their class to help bolster numbers and competition at that position moving forward. Ever since Jeremy Pruitt hired Jim Chaney as his offensive coordinator, the Vols have sent out a few more offers to 2020 quarterbacks.

    Now, a highly-rated dual-threat quarterback will be visiting Tennessee later on this week.

    Jacolby Criswell is a four-star quarterback who plays for Morrilton High School in Morrilton, Arkansas. He’s received a lot of interest over the last few months, and he’ll be in Knoxville starting this Friday.

    Criswell is the No. 276 overall prospect, No. 8 dual-threat quarterback, and No. 1 player in the state of Arkansas in the 2020 class according to the regular 247Sports rankings. According to the composite rankings, he’s the No. 386 overall player and a high three-star.

    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, Houston, Purdue, 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

    Criswell has already visited Ole Miss and North Carolina in the month of March, and he’s expected to get a lot of attention from teams over the spring and summer heading into his senior year of high school.

    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.

    The Vols already have high four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey committed to them in their 2020 class, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that UT would like to have two signal callers in this class if possible. If Criswell leaves Knoxville with a scholarship offer after this weekend, then he’ll be a name to keep an eye on moving forward.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.