When it comes to winning games in college football, it’s all about the quarterback.
The Tennessee Vols, thanks to names like Peyton Manning and Tee Martin, know that as well as anyone.
Unfortunately for the Vols, it’s been a while since they’ve had an elite passing quarterback. Tyler Bray was probably the last elite pure passer to play for Tennessee (if the 2012 UT team is paired with a Jeremy Pruitt led defense, they’re probably competing for a SEC Championship).
But with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney back on Rocky Top, I think the days of highly rated pro-style quarterbacks eschewing the Vols for other programs is over.
Chaney’s style of offense is ideal for quarterbacks with dreams of playing in the NFL.
And isn’t that the ultimate goal for most elite pro-style quarterbacks? Winning a college championship is certainly a goal, but a long and lucrative career in the NFL is what highly rated prep quarterbacks are truly hoping to achieve.
Tennessee’s offense under Chaney will be set up to showcase the skills and abilities of great quarterbacks. That will automatically put the Vols in the mix for some of the nation’s top passers (as we’ve seen with the commitment of 2020 four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey, who has the potential to be a stud at UT).
Vol recruiting target Jalen Kitna, the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, obviously knows what it takes make it to the next level, considering he grew up in a NFL household. Kitna recently visited Tennessee and told VolQuest that UT is instantly a factor in his recruitment because of their pro-style offense.
— Jalen Kitna (@KitnaJalen) June 1, 2019
Kitna also mentioned that he really enjoyed being coach by Chris Weinke, who will coach quarterbacks for the Vols this season after coaching running backs in 2018.
When a program can become a factor for a talented quarterback simply because of their style of offense, that’s a really big deal. In order for Tennessee to land the best players in the country, everything has to go right. The coaches have to be on point with their recruiting message. The style of play has to be attractive to potential recruits. And the on-the-field product has to reflect what the future could possibly hold for top rated players.
The Vols are still working on that last part. But it’s year two of the Pruitt era and year one of the (second) Chaney era. Give the Vols some time and they’ll take care of that part.
For now, I think it’s extremely important for fans to know that Tennessee has the framework to be a successful program in place. Defensive recruits already loved and respected Pruitt. Now they feel the same about the man making decisions on the offensive side of the ball.
Chaney is going to prove to be an invaluable resource for Tennessee.
Just another great hire by Jeremy Pruitt.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports