A healthier and bulkier Charlie High will be one of many interested onlookers Saturday at Tennessee’s Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium.
The record-setting quarterback from Christian Academy of Knoxville who will walk on with the Vols this fall will keep his eyes trained on quarterbacks Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman — the two currently vying for the starting spot.
And with signees Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson joining Tennessee’s roster this summer, High is doing what he can to remain in the hunt.
The 6-foot High is just weeks away from finishing his rehabilitation from offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. In the meantime, he has increased his body weight from 176 (his 2012 roster weight) to 190.
High hopes to reach 200 pounds before reporting to fall camp.
“I want to come in and show people I can actually do it and that I wasn’t a system quarterback,” said High, who threw for 10,978 yards and 131 touchdowns while at CAK. “I want to prove to everybody I am worthy to be at Tennessee.
“I want to surprise some people coming in and get people talking about me — and hopefully earn a scholarship or starting job, if that’s even possible.”
High recently got his hands on the Tennessee playbook and has started learning the formations, he said.
“I’m not doing it all at once,” said High, “because it’s a huge playbook. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
The play calls and terminology differ from what High used under CAK coach Rusty Bradley, but High said the offensive ideas will be the same with Tennessee offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian — also known as Coach Jake.
“What Coach Bradley was trying to do,” High said, “is what Coach Jake wants to do.”
Once his rehabilitation ends, High would like to get back to throwing routes 5-6 times per week and said he’s “eager” to get in that routine again. And as far as he is concerned, High views his current status in the quarterback depth chart as a win-win situation.
“Now is a time to get healthy and get back, not really worry about anything,” he said. “In my mind, I don’t have any pressure going in.
“I’m just excited for everything. I don’t have to be in the spotlight. I’m just enjoying the process.”