Casey Clausen doesn't look at Chase Rettig as just a backup plan for Tennessee.
The former UT quarterback rates UT's newest recruiting target as highly as the nation's other quarterback prospects. Clausen points to the Super Seven Quarterback Academy in Hawaii earlier this month as proof.
"He was making throw for throw just like everybody else was - with consistency and accuracy," said Clausen, who has worked with Rettig along with noted California quarterback guru Steve Clarkson.
Recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill agreed. He called Rettig's performance in Hawaii one of the best by a quarterback whom he has seen this spring and summer.
"What impressed us so much about Rettig was his drop speed, set up and balance on five- and seven-step drops," Luginbill wrote on ESPN.com. "He also was skilled in pocket movement in drills tailored to test one's ability to throw on the move or off balance.
His accuracy and ability to make any type of throw were off the charts
Tom Luginbill, Recruiting analyst
"His accuracy and ability to make any type of throw were off the charts on day three. At one point during the workout, he nailed seven or eight throws in a row, displaying terrific footwork and mechanics."
The competition was stiff for the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Rettig. Blake Bell, Phillip Sims, Austin Hinder and Nick Montana were some of the other participants. All have multiple scholarship offers.
Rettig, however, has only two. Boston College offered weeks ago. UT jumped on board Tuesday after missing out on a handful of other prospects that committed elsewhere.
Most believe a tough junior season - in which many of his receivers suffered injuries - is to blame for the relative lack of interest.
"They had to change the offense from a passing offense to more of a running offense," Clausen said. "He ran the ball pretty well but his numbers weren't as good as his sophomore numbers.
"The team was 1-9. All these other top quarterbacks were winning games and putting up big numbers. He kind of flew under the radar his entire junior year."
Rettig also had to overcome a first-year coaching staff at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Calif. That won't be the case this year. Rettig transferred to San Clemente High School in Sierra Madre, Calif.
He is expected to deliver some big statistics this fall. That wouldn't surprise Clausen, who said Rettig has all the intangibles and intelligence that a quarterback needs. The ability has never been a question in Clausen's mind.
He's a good athlete and I think he has one of the strongest arms in California.
Casey Clausen, Former Vol quarterback
"He has the physical skills too," Clausen said. "He's a good athlete and I think he has one of the strongest arms in California."
Clausen has worked with Rettig since his freshman year. He saw Rettig improve physically before his second high school season.
"We knew he had a real strong arm," Clausen said. "He grew about three or four inches from his freshman to sophomore year."
Clausen is convinced that Rettig has it all - especially after what he displayed in Hawaii.
"No doubt," Clausen said. "We just saw it in person side-by-side with all those other guys."
Surveying Scroggins: Clausen has also seen another UT prospect during an off-season camp.
"I like him," said Clausen of the Lakewood (Calif.) High rising senior. He's got a good arm. Good kid. Real bright kid. I think he's got a real bright future."
Scroggins is set to announce his decision on July 25 from the Elite 11 camp in California. He is considering UT, Southern California and Florida. He is thought to be undecided and will choose between the Vols and Trojans.