Tennessee sophomore quarterback Brian Maurer hasn’t gotten off to the start this fall camp that he had hoped due to a nagging injury, Vols quarterback coach Chris Weinke revealed on Wednesday.
“He’s hampered and slowed down a little bit with a hamstring right now,” Weinke told the media. “He’s not, the last few practices, hasn’t been able to operate in all of our team periods.
Tennessee’s last two practices were held Saturday evening and Tuesday afternoon. The Vols’ Friday practice was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program, but following a round of testing on Friday, Jeremy Pruitt felt comfortable about returning to practice on Saturday. Wednesday was a scheduled off day for UT.
“He’s still coming out there every day,” Weinke said. “I think Brian is another example of a guy that probably as a young guy last year didn’t know exactly every detail of what we were trying to get accomplished, but continued to learn. He’s very talented. There’s no doubt, he brings a lot to the table from that standpoint.”
Maurer is one of three quarterbacks battling for the backup quarterback job behind starter Jarrett Guarantano. Redshirt sophomore J.T. Shrout and highly-touted freshman Harrison Bailey are the other two quarterbacks competing against Maurer.
“I think he’s growing up and he’s matured,” Weinke said. “I think that’s a big part of becoming a professional, right? We preach about that every single day: How to be a pro, how to learn, how to study, what’s important. And I think you’re seeing that in Brian Maurer. There’s no doubt, like I said, he’s got as much talent as a lot of guys I’ve ever been around, the ability to throw the football from different platforms, being able to run the football.
“We just have to create some consistency with him, and that’s with all of them, but I think especially Brian, a guy that, really at the end of the day, there’s everybody competing on a daily basis, and that’s what makes it so fun for me. The excitement that I get to see in those three guys competing against each other is a lot of fun, and you get some ebbs and flows throughout the course of practice, and some guys are making great plays.
Weinke said Tennessee’s offensive coaches were in no rush to name a backup quarterback and that it is way too early to to have that conversation.
Tennessee is scheduled to kickoff its 2020 season on the road at South Carolina on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Vols will return home a week later to take on Missouri at noon ET in the home-opener.