Vols specific about QB qualities for 2010; Kiffin rates brains ahead of big arm

When it comes to finding a quarterback, Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney isn't too picky. He's got two major qualifications. "Just get a kid with a brain. A brain and an arm, I think that goes a helluva long way," he said.

How's that for a simple job requirement?

"I think you can train them to do whatever you want them to do,'' Chaney said. "When they get here, they're sponges for the most part and they want to learn."

Given the choice, UT coach Lane Kiffin would rather go heavy on the brain.

"There's a lot of guys over the years with big arms that weren't very successful," he said. "There's a lot of guys that didn't have big arms that were successful because of their brains, their leadership qualities. The intangibles are so valuable at that position. It's hard to judge sometimes. That's why we continue to research and talk to as many people as we can."

As the Vols continue to evaluate quarterbacks for the 2010 class in hopes of landing the new staff's first quarterback commitment, those two factors pull a lot more weight than the system a particular quarterback played in high school.

Two prominent prospects with offers from Tennessee - Lakewood (Calif.) High School's Jesse Scroggins and Cincinnati's Andrew Hendrix - are both listed as pro-style quarterbacks by Rivals.com. Both have spent more time than many high school quarterbacks under center as well.

But evaluating quarterbacks for an offense like Kiffin's can be a little tricky, considering the proliferation of spread offenses in high schools across the country.

With most based primarily in the shotgun, a lot of prep quarterbacks don't have a lot of experience with three- and five-step drops that they would see at UT.

"It's no different than why the NFL has a difficult time with these spread offense quarterbacks, evaluating them," Kiffin said. "Because they don't see what they want to see in the NFL. No one wants that in the NFL. It hurts kids to play in that system. You've just got to find ways to evaluate them."

This spring, that included reviewing film sent back by assistant coaches during the spring evaluation period. It extended to UT's summer camps, including this weekend's camp, which Scroggins attended.

In a camp setting, coaches can put players through specific drills to get a better handle on how their skills might suit the offense. More importantly, though, Kiffin said camps help coaches gauge a player's personality and leadership skills - another key set of requirements for a successful quarterback.

"The best thing to do is when we get them to camp," Kiffin said. "We get to evaluate them and get to hang out with them and really get a feel for them."

But playing in a pro-style system in high school isn't a requirement to be recruited by Tennessee.

"Anytime you want to see people do what you want them to do," Kiffin said. "The best thing they can do is be in an offense that's similar to ours, which is under center most of the time. But that doesn't mean we limit ourselves and don't take a guy because he's not (in a pro-style offense). We've got to find out who the best guys are."

According to the recruiting services, this year's class of quarterbacks doesn't have the kind of firepower found in years past. Top-rated quarterback Phillip Sims, already committed to Alabama, is No. 58 on Rivals.com's top 100 prospects in the class of 2010.

That's in stark contrast to years past, when the top-rated quarterback was often the No. 1 overall recruit and more than one quarterback ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Still, evaluating quarterbacks isn't about stars or ratings. It's ultimately about finding a quarterback that coaches feel good about.

"It's so critical," Kiffin says. "The quarterback is the face of your franchise. This is a big deal to get this one right, these one or two guys right. We're doing everything that we can."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 120

kabzs writes:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

vol_chaz writes:

Let's wrap up one of these QBS soon. Glad CLK has a hands on approach.. Hope to hear more good news on this, in the coming days..

hotrodvol writes:

These guys will get a good QB. Coach Chaney has a good resume, have faith guys it will be alright in the end.

CharlotteVol writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

Who says BJ was "run off"??? It looks like he gave up to me...

CharlotteVol writes:

I agree with CLK's philosophy, and we don't need to look any farther than our own Tee Martin. He did not have the biggest arm or fastest feet, but he rarely made bad decisions. I'll take a Tee Martin QB any day...

chad_t31 writes:

I'm gonna let someone else take this guy above me ^

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to CharlotteVol:

Who says BJ was "run off"??? It looks like he gave up to me...

Does this mean Smith really wanted to quit? It does not sound easy to be a VOL right now. Hope for the best. Go Vols

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We all hope you are right! go vols

Hounddog writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I will agree with this loper, Manning had no brains, where is Ryan Leaf presently? Peyton had no arm and set UT, SEC, and NFL single season records. With no brains and no arm...he only has many,many,many, MILLIONS$$$! Goood call Vol_RobE. Perhaps with your brains you could provide us the Powewrball winning numbers? That is, if your arm is not too busy.

kiffownsfla writes:

You may have to do a little more clk lol!

txvolsfan writes:

No brains or no arm but possibly the best QB of all times in the NFL.
3 MVP's
1 Super Bowl MVP
1 Super Bowl ring.
I hope I loose my brains and my arm strength!!!

Voluvr writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

BJ, NS, JC are not the type QB's that they would recruit in the first place. They are all in the way of landing a big timer that wants to play right away. To give him the spot says "you have to wait for three years." They all are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Except JC is gone after this year anyway.

Voluvr writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not biting this artificial bait.

CoverOrange writes:

Brains? Naffy no compute!

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to Hounddog:

I will agree with this loper, Manning had no brains, where is Ryan Leaf presently? Peyton had no arm and set UT, SEC, and NFL single season records. With no brains and no arm...he only has many,many,many, MILLIONS$$$! Goood call Vol_RobE. Perhaps with your brains you could provide us the Powewrball winning numbers? That is, if your arm is not too busy.

Point for Hounddog!

ArealVolFan writes:

Florida self-reported two secondary violations involving and both involved improper contact with recruits, according to a report by The Orlando Sentinel.

The reality is that secondary violations are pretty common, and all schools self-report them with the hope of avoiding major trouble with the NCAA.

It's just that some of these snafus are more public than others. Florida's two secondary violations came to light after The Orlando Sentinel filed an open records request for primary or secondary violations involving the Gators over a 12-month span.
-Reported by Chris Low.

Found this interesting. I know we have had more but inappropriate contact with players sounds worse than anything we have had. Just goes to show though every school does this and the morons that think the ones that have happened here at UT since Kffin's arrival need to wake up and realize that they just don't matter.

FWBVol writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Leave it to a Flor-Idiot, to compare a running back with a quarterback.

Don't get me wrong, even as a Tennessee grad I appreciate Smith's talent. I've followed him since his sophomore year at Escambia High School in Pensacola and saw him play a half dozen times in high school.

But Peyton is still climbing the list of all-time great QBs. He is seventh in career passing yards and should be fourth by the end of the season. He already holds the record for most 4,000 yard passing seasons with nine and has three MVP awards to his credit.

If Tennessee can recruit a quarterback with half the brains and football instincts of Peyton Manning the Vols will be fine.

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and, he looked smashing in Dancing with the Stars!

andy112382#209793 writes:

Man, I can't wait til Tennessee is back on top and we get to watch all the trolls eat crow.....oh, wait, they won't even show on here since they hide behind their computers making jokes about that which they obviously don't know anything about.

Sounds like our coaches have their plan of attack and are going to get their man based on more than high school stats and web site rankings (which I would think are going to be even more off than normal now that they can not visit camps) As he said, the QB is the face of the program, get the guy who can be a leader, smart on his feet, and get the job done by not making mistakes to cost his team.

GO VOLS!!!

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did Emmitt wear his Teabow panties when he danced on Dancing with the Stars!

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Emmit was a good running back I will agree, but the subject was QB's, Let me think who the best Florida QB was in the NFL ..... HUM nobody I can remember. Peyton is the best QB in the NFL now! Even Teblow won't be picked to play QB in the NFL. Maybe a RB or TE if he is lucky.

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to 2407westTN_VOLSfan:

Emmit was a good running back I will agree, but the subject was QB's, Let me think who the best Florida QB was in the NFL ..... HUM nobody I can remember. Peyton is the best QB in the NFL now! Even Teblow won't be picked to play QB in the NFL. Maybe a RB or TE if he is lucky.

Rex Grossman is the best UF QB to play in the NFL. As sad as that is... Chicago Radio:

"Grossman behind center, there's the snap... OH Gawd, NO!! The ball's loose! Rex flips it up, and... NOOOOOOO!!! Geeezusss AHHCCCHHH Krissssstt!!! Why'd he do that!!??!!"

highVOLtage writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

Does it take brains to quit the UT team and join a UT-Chattanooga team that just went on probation?

Volguy1971 writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, well....How many Undefeated National Championships do the Gators have? ZERO!!! Also, go ahead and bash UT while we're down...At least we have NEVER lost 8 games in a season....The only other school that has never lost 8 games - Ohio State....

By the way, the Vols have 13 SEC championships...How many have your beloved Gators have?

BillsBrother writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Careful there, Scarecrow.

Remember Momma's saying about the pot calling the kettle black...

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

I never run off a BJ

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

To engage you in a battle of wits would be senseless as you appear to be unarmed! To compare Kiffin's NFL carreer wins and college wins is useless since he has not played an offical game so far. Some coaches do a better job on college front than in the NFL, ask former UF Coach Spurrier as reference. CLK has done everything he said he would so far, assembled the best coaches, pulled together a Top 10 recruiting class and now we plan to sing Rocky Top all night long in the swamp. The Gators are afraid of Kiffin, why else would you put his picture in the locker room? Earlier you or another troll said he would not be here in 2 years. I'll put my money that he will be here and have the next UT dynasty! Urbie will be leaving for his dream job at ND next year. So have your fun before the Orange Swarm hits in Florda. I have heard the game will be moved from the swamp to the local prison field so as to accomadate the players that can't get out for the weekend!

tums writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

Coleman didnt like the competition. Then gave up and quit. Crompton had the most experience, that is why he was somewhat favored after spring. I liked Coleman before, but at the end of the day he is just an immature kid that quit because he wasnt guaranteed a starting spot after spring practice after throwin to 20 yards and an INT at Vandy all of last year.

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe blinders aren't the only thing thick about you! Do you know what they are? Jackasses wear blinders so as not to be distracted by what is going on to their sides and keep them focused ahead. So you must be a j@ckass? UF is painting themselves into a corner, IF they beat UT on 9/19, then they were supposed to anyway on the way to the next NC. So the pressure is all on the Gators, a mistake or 2 may turn the game to UT's favor and add to the legend of Kiffin that is about to unfold! He has you played right where he wants you to be!

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

This is a good read. Big target who really enjoyed the trip.

http://tennessee.scout.com/2/873859.html

MrKnoxville writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Right....he recruited and coached 2 Heisman Trophy winners Bush/Leinhart at USC, recruited and coached Matt Cassell...a QB that never took a snap until Brady got broke and is a starter in the NFL now, recruited Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, Patrick Turner, even John David Booty I believe...yeah these guys all sucked at U.S.C....he can't evaluate college prospects....your right.

Weatherman writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, he just graduated in 3 years, with honors. Oh, and then he got a good start on his MBA just so he could play his senior season...doesn't sound to bright to me...what are you smoking! Manning is one of the smartest, if not the smartest QBs UT has ever seen. Go Vols.

Weatherman writes:

in response to heykoolaide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He also only had to worry about running through a hole, directed by his coach and QB, opened by his line...brains are not a requiremnt for a great RB...QB is a different story.

teampenny#658108 writes:

Who was the best QB in college Leak of Florida or Manning of Tennessee. Leak passed for more yards and won a NC. That could be a pretty good argument he was better. But with out a doubt Tebow is better than them both in college. Go Vols

HallowedHill writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

Because he was 3rd on the depth chart behind Crompton and Stevens? Two qb's that don't rate highly with most UT fans.

HallowedHill writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your lack of knowlege is amusing.

Based on your assessment of NFL careers, Saban, Spurrier and Carroll are all utter failures.

The longest field goal on record was a 63 yard attempt nearly 30 years ago. Yes, Kiffin did ask Janikowski to attempt a long field goal before halftime - wow, that is crazy. LOL.

I love that Kiffin has ignorant, forum trolls foaming at the mouth.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BIG its gonna be hotter than the south side of a witches tit today lol! When we gonna get a qb I say we get lamaison this week what you think? I think they may offer him now that camp is over. GO VOLS BOOKER SAY MIX ONE LATER LOL!

bigorangesob writes:

in response to vol_chaz:

Let's wrap up one of these QBS soon. Glad CLK has a hands on approach.. Hope to hear more good news on this, in the coming days..

We had a couple of big time qb's committed, but they didn't fit the system, perhaps they should have COACHED them to fit the system, huh?

ibvolman writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

Who was the best QB in college Leak of Florida or Manning of Tennessee. Leak passed for more yards and won a NC. That could be a pretty good argument he was better. But with out a doubt Tebow is better than them both in college. Go Vols

Tee Martin won a NC, and holds the record for most consecutive pass completions. That is an argument that he is better than Leak and Tebow.

Sounds to me like you should get the award for Negavol. Everything you post is negative in nature.

bloodrunsorange writes:

in response to bigorangesob:

We had a couple of big time qb's committed, but they didn't fit the system, perhaps they should have COACHED them to fit the system, huh?

If everything said in this article is fact and not hype, maybe they’re really considering Cy Ables (TN), Andrew Hendrix, Chase Rettig, or Bo Wallace (TN). Do we have enough QBs on campus to handle injuries? IMO Coleman was as good as these four. There’s still 2 JCs Cameron Newton and Dominique Blackman if that route was considered. They are two large QBs, 6’7” and 6’5” and Newton was a 5 star. All the rest are not rated that high. Has anyone considered that what we’re looking for is just not out there this year? IMO the QB pool is not what it has been in some years. The spread QB of less height and weight is more prevalent now. Running backs run and catch and receivers catch and run but QBs run the show and that is the most important thing they do.

darbhoo writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Obviously you do not have brains but do have MOUTH. Peyton seems to be doing pretty well.

PureOrange writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your post is a clear indication you should not be commenting on brains, or judging Manning in any way.

volsgirl writes:

in response to kabzs:

If its brains ...why run off BJ?

BJ cann't stand the heat then he ran out the kitchen

ethanfrome writes:

If brains are the main thing CLK is looking for, why the hale is Crompton our first string QB?

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to gatorbait5and7:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The man said put the blue and orange d#@k shapped pacifier back in yo mouth and STFU! LOL u like bein piled on though I forgot lmao! GO VOLS!

Down_The_Field writes:

CLK and CJC are right on this one. i think back and recall andy kelly, the guy who wears an sec ring and beat flar-duh 45-3. the most lop-sided win in the series. danny woooorfull is running a boys home and i have no idea where jay barker is. if i wasn't lazy, i could google tee martin and find out where he is. when it's all said and done tim dweebo along with the others will never spend time in canton other than to stop and get gas on their way to the allegheny forest. manning the only one in the conference's recent history that's headed there.

we need to get the best qb out there and let the coaches do their job.

btw - lopers sad about only one thing. pehokee's whole football team was in knoxville last weekend and NOT gaynsvul.

givehim6 writes:

With our running game a QB with brains and a good arm that can make a few good throws { to UT players, not the other guys } maybe what we get. Don't get me wrong I want UT to get a top notch QB, buy we seem to be getting some looks and nibbles but no bits, and the big fish are getting cought.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Big you couldn't hook a team of D9 cat dozers to him and drag his candy azz off that stool LMFAO!GO VOLS!

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to gatorbait5and7:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NASTERBAIT 5AN7 PACIFIER PLZE LOL! ANDA 5GAL BUCKET OF KEROSENE FOR THE ANTS! GO VOLS!

appalachianvol writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just don't respond!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features