Vol QB Commit Harrison Bailey Dominates in Season Opener

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    (Photo via @_VR2_ on Twitter)

    Tennessee quarterback commit Harrison Bailey has put up some huge numbers on the field over the last couple seasons, and he got his senior year at Marietta off to a dominating start on Thursday night.

    Marietta opened up their 2019 season by taking on 5A powerhouse Rome High School. Rome has won a state title two of the last three years, but they were no match for Marietta, who plays in the highest classification of Georgia high school football. Bailey, who is a four-star and the No. 130 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings, was superb in Marietta’s season opener, and one of Tennessee’s top targets in the 2020 recruiting class also had a big day.

    Bailey finished 19-of-30 for 367 yards and five touchdowns against Rome, leading Marietta to a 48-14 blowout victory in the Corky Kell Classic. Marietta was up 27-0 at halftime, and Bailey and the loaded roster at Marietta were able to cruise in the second half.

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    One of the biggest knocks on Bailey’s game throughout the camp circuit has been his footwork and mobility. He showed off some improved movement on Thursday, scrambling a couple times and avoiding pressure more effectively. As you can see in the video captured by our associates at Vol Recruiting Reports — who were at the Corky Kell Classic to bring you first-hand coverage — Bailey ripped off a solid gain on a scramble early in the contest.

    But it wasn’t just Bailey who stood out.

    Bailey’s top target on the night was none other than Arik Gilbert, the five-star tight end/wide receiver who is high on Tennessee’s recruiting board. Gilbert hauled in nine passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

    Tennessee’s four-star QB commit looked for Gilbert time and time again, including on a big third down and 22 at one point. Bailey connected with Gilbert, and the big 6-foot-5, 253-pound athlete helped convert for a first down.

    Bailey also had a well-placed pass to Gilbert in the back of the end zone for a touchdown (and Gilbert grabbed it with one hand), and he threw a dart over the middle to Gilbert for a first down, fitting the pass in a tight window.

    But Bailey isn’t the only Vol commit on Marietta’s roster.

    BJ Ojulari announced his commitment to Tennessee a week ago during a ceremony at Marietta High School, and he was effective on both sides of the ball for the Blue Devils. He totaled seven tackles and a pass break up on defense and played on the offensive line as well. Ojulari helped the offensive line protect Bailey, as the four-star quarterback was only sacked once during the game.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Ojulari is the No. 158 overall prospect and No. 10 weak-side defensive end in the 2020 class.

    Marietta will be back on the field for their second game of the season next Friday, August 30th. They’ll host St. Joseph’s from Philadelphia at 7:30 PM Eastern.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.