Meet the Vols 2011-Quarterbacks
Big Orange Report 8-15-11
This article was originally published in blog:
Meet the Vols 2011-Quarterbacks
By Warner Agee
Meet the Vols 2011
Position Coach—Darin Hinshaw
Tyler Bray—Sophomore (6-6, 210, one letter) from Kingsburg, California--- The California gunslinger took over the controls of the Tennessee offense in October and proceeded to establish new Vol freshman passing records. On the season, Bray clicked on 125 of 224 passes for 1849 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also threw 10 interceptions, an indication that there is still much work to do in order for him to become a polished field general. He finished third in quarterback ratings among freshman signal callers in Division I football last fall. He was one of just two quarterbacks in the SEC to enjoy 300-plus yards passing days in four separate contests. Bray was the first Tennessee quarterback since Peyton Manning to toss multiple touchdown strikes in six consecutive games. He flipped four scoring aerials against a very good North Carolina defense in the Music City Bowl to tie another UT record. While his play was spectacular at times, it must be noted here that most of the success was achieved against the back end of the schedule which featured weaker defenses than the team faced in September and October. However, this rangy, strong armed youngster can make all the throws and seems to have all the tools necessary to become a legitimate all-star and NFL prospect by the 2012 season. Coach Dooley and Coach Chaney have been very pleased with his work ethic in the film room and while studying the playbook during the off-season.
Matt Simms—Senior (6-3, 212, one letter) from Franklin Lakes, N.J.-- After opening the 2010 season as the starter, Simms gave way to Bray, but has maintained a positive attitude and, by all accounts, continues to work to improve his game at practice every day. His best outing as the starter came against the Florida Gators when he completed 19 of 31 throws (61.3 percent) for 259 yards and two touchdowns. His scoring arrows went for 49 yards to Danarius Moore and 35 yards to freshman Justin Hunter. Simms certainly provides a comfortable insurance policy for the staff should Bray be sidelined by injury or struggle during the schedule this year. He is the son of former all-pro and Super Bowl winning quarterback Phil Simms.
Justin Worley—Freshman (6-5, 209) from Rock Hill, S.C.—The 2010 Gatorade National Player of the Year, Worley finished a brilliant prep career with incredible totals of 13,385 yards and 157 touchdowns through the air at Northwestern High School. His senior completion percentage was a spectacular 73 percent. He led his team to a perfect 15-0 record and a state title one year ago. He was a top 100 prospect according to both ESPNU and the Sporting News. Worley is getting work in early practice sessions, but the decision to red-shirt him will not be made until the season gets underway.
If Bray can master the mental and emotional aspects of the game and bring his comprehension up to the level of his superior physical abilities, Tennessee should be set at QB for the next three seasons. Simms is a nice insurance policy and Worley will have time to develop as a reserve this season. Fourth string quarterback Nash Nance may be the most mobile signal caller on the team.
Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson might be the best passer in the league in just his first year as the starter. Aaron Murray at Georgia learned on the job last fall and is now a polished, intelligent field general. Bray fits into the equation somewhere between third and fifth, depending on his performance this fall.
Here are some of the better performances from last Saturday’s full scale scrimmage. Sophomore place kicker Mike Palardy was three for three on field goals and nailed a 52-yarder in the bargain. Hard running freshman Tom Smith led all rushers with 80 yards on just 10 totes with a long run of 22 yards. Sophomore wide outs Justin Hunter and Matt Milton each grabbed four passes for over 60 yards. Freshman phenom Curt Maggitt logged six tackles which included 4.5 stops for lost yardage and two quarterback sacks. Reserve strong safety Rod Wilks notched five tackles including one for minus yardage, recovered a fumble and broke up one pass.