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Vols quarterback misses first week of camp, in “social quarantine”

(Photo courtesy of GoVols247)

Tennessee freshman quarterback Harrison Bailey is in “social quarantine,” Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt announced following practice on Friday evening.

“He has not practiced,” Pruitt said on a Zoom call. “At the last press conference, I told y’all we had some guys that were in some social quarantine, and he’s one of the guys that is.”

Pruitt didn’t say whether Bailey had tested positive for COVID-19 or if he was quarantined because he came in contact with someone who had tested positive.

Many fans, along with the local media, have wondered about Bailey’s availability throughout the first week of fall camp. Bailey had not appeared in any video or photos that Tennessee had sent out to the media, while fellow quarterbacks Jarrett Guarantano, JT Shrout and Brian Maurer had been featured.

“We did,” Pruitt said on Monday when asked if any players did not participate in Tennessee’s first practice of fall camp. “We had a few guys that are in quarantine right now that will be back here in a couple days.”

Pruitt went on to reveal that 23 Vols have tested positive for COVID-19 since players returned in June, but that contact tracing showed that nobody had tested positive as a result of shortcomings with the program’s protocol. Anybody who contracted COVID did so while being away from the football complex.

Bailey signed with Tennessee as one of the highest-ranked quarterback signees in program history. The Marietta, Georgia native enrolled early in January, but was only able to participate in three practices before spring practice was canceled due to COVID-19.

On Rivals, Bailey finished the 2020 cycle rated as a five-star, coming in at No. 30 overall and ranking second among pro-style quarterbacks. The Marietta, Georgia QB place just inside the top-100 prospects on 247Sports, coming in at No. 99 overall in their composite rankings and finishing third among pro-style quarterbacks.

The 6-foot-5, 223-pound quarterback joined Tennessee as an early enrollee and participated in spring practices before they were canceled due to the coronavirus. Bailey comes off an impressive senior season at Marietta that capped off a strong high school career. Bailey finished his senior year with 4,674 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 69.8 percent completion percentage on 411 pass attempts. He also ran for three scores and totaled 76 rushing yards. He helped lead Marietta to their first state title since 1967. Bailey threw for 300 or more yards in six games this past season and threw multiple touchdowns in all but three games.

Bailey finished his high school career with over 11,700 passing yards and over 100 touchdown passes. His passing yardage total is fourth all-time in Georgia high school football history, finishing only behind current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (13,902), former Clemson star Deshaun Watson (13,077), and former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (12,745).

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