Tennessee Vols junior quarterback Brian Maurer hasn’t had a smooth career on Rocky Top so far.
Maurer, who signed with Tennessee as a three-star recruit out of Florida, has played in 12 games for the Vols over his first two seasons in Knoxville. He’s passed for 550 yards and rushed for 97 yards.
There’s no doubt that Maurer is a dynamic athlete — he’s especially impressive with the ball in his hands in the open field. But he hasn’t been able to make a big impact for the Vols due to struggles with mental health and physical injuries.
Maurer’s mental health struggles were documented in a lengthy Instagram post from the quarterback last year.
The physical issues were documented, too. But they were barely a blip on the radar, thanks in part to former Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Maurer posted on Twitter this week that he feels 100 percent healthy for the first time since his freshman year. He also replied to a “fan” and noted that he pulled his hamstring “multiple times” and had two knee surgeries.
Pruitt downplayed Maurer’s hamstring injury in 2019.
“Brian’s fine, he’s had several weeks off here, so he should be ready to go,” said Pruitt in late 2019. “We’ve got some other guys that are probably a little more banged up and closer to being questionable.”
It’s clear from Maurer’s tweets, however, that he wasn’t 100 percent at the time.
Now that Maurer is healthy, I think he’s an intriguing option in Tennessee’s quarterback battle. Maurer was recruited by Vols head coach Josh Heupel at UCF. And Maurer also played in an up-tempo offense in high school, similar to the offense that Heupel runs.
While I think it’s a longshot that Maurer wins the starting job this fall (Harrison Bailey and Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker are the favorites), his unique skill set will certainly make the battle interesting.
Tennessee’s in a good spot when it comes to quarterbacks — especially since this staff has a great track record when it comes to quarterback development.
Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports