CAK's Charlie High bulking up for QB transition to Tennessee

Christian Academy of Knoxville quarterback Charlie High poses for a photo at the News Sentinel Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. High is this year's PrepXtra offensive player of the year. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Christian Academy of Knoxville quarterback Charlie High poses for a photo at the News Sentinel Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. High is this year's PrepXtra offensive player of the year. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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.”

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Comments » 22

GrandCanyonVol writes:

Mr. Charlie High, You have my respect already, coming in as a walk-on and taking on all these "Big Time" QBs. I wish you well as you start your journey here at UT.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GrandCanyonVol:

Mr. Charlie High, You have my respect already, coming in as a walk-on and taking on all these "Big Time" QBs. I wish you well as you start your journey here at UT.

Agreed, this young man could have taken a scholarship and probably played immediately at a smaller school. Charlie is the kind of guy you find yourself really pulling for.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Wish Charlie High the best!

Proud of my alma maters, both CAK and Tennessee.

Go Big Orange!!!

allvol8 writes:

Charlie is a good kid..he will do well as a Vol!

jt45 writes:

Working towards his goal instead of settling for a free ride says more about this young mans character and work ethics than any article ever will. It would not be too surprising to see this young QB become very successful at the next level when the opportunity comes.

pingkr62 writes:

I like his attitude. Hoping for the best for him. G.B.O.!!!

TommyJack writes:

good luck kid

volfaninutah writes:

I remember a long time ago 60-70s, it was a dream of Tennessee kids to play at UT. We had on guy from Greenback, Steve King who went to play at UT. He was a celebrity in our town. I worked a summer job with Rocky Goode before his Freshman year. JUst watching the replay of the Gator Bowl when we beat Syracuse. It was interesting to see how many guys on the team were actually from Tennessee. Hopefully Coach Jones can get it back to those times. All it takes is a few wins to get that feeling back, and these youg guys from the state will be knocking down the door again. Hope our team looks good tomorrow for th O&W game.

mtthw741 writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey JB its like the real "JB" (Justin Beiber) says,"Never say Never!"

oldster writes:

So Charlie is a 6 foot High, huh? Pretty good pun,NS.

Do not forget, guys, this kid has some good genes. His daddy was an All American High Hurdler at UT back in the Richmond Flowers days. Charlie can run, too.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I wish him well. It takes a lot of guts and desire to walk-on at a major program when you could have taken a scholarship somewhere smaller. He will be putting in a ton of time and effort and sacrificing a lot for something he has obviously dreamed about for a long time, while knowing it is a longshot.

Good luck, kid.

No. You make your own luck.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

I hope this kid is given a chance. After that, may the best man win. He definitely has talent and if he were a little taller everyone would have been after him. Size helps but it's not everything. Work hard young man and remember the Teddy Roosevelt speech, "The man in the arena". There is no doubt regardless of what happens football wise, that you will be successful in life. It's also great to have young men with high character on our team and representing the university.

Go Vols!

jawbreaker writes:

Whether or not he ever plays a down, Charlie has proven to me that he is "worthy to be at Tennessee". Best of luck to him.

ColdBlackWind writes:

Charlie High may well be the story in the making that every Vol fan longs for. Hometown kid turned SEC champion QB. GO VOLS!

SouthPaVol writes:

We have the great "crop" of 5 QBs at UT. I think Charlie could start in most SEC programs, maybe all of them. (Probably Miss St would have been a good fit?)

Glad you stayed home in Knoxville, Charlie, and hope you get your shot. I think you are a winner and will succeed at UT. Your day will come. Go Vols!

bUTch_please writes:

Charlie is the prototype size for an option read QB. His background as a very successful passer would make him a dangerous threat sprinting out (plus give him room to see the field). Charlie may see something in this offense he can compete for. Smart young man.

Go Team #117!

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Dreams do come true, stick with it kid.

allvol32 writes:

Best of luck Charlie High! Drew Brees has proven that you don't have to be 6'4" to be a great quarterback.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to allvol32:

Best of luck Charlie High! Drew Brees has proven that you don't have to be 6'4" to be a great quarterback.

Good point..Fran Tarkenton and Norris Weese were both short, but played in the Super Bowl during the 70's. That QB at Seattle is short in stature as well. It can be done with the right attitude/ work ethic, and Charlie certainly seems to have those qualities.

whatthe84 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Good point..Fran Tarkenton and Norris Weese were both short, but played in the Super Bowl during the 70's. That QB at Seattle is short in stature as well. It can be done with the right attitude/ work ethic, and Charlie certainly seems to have those qualities.

You guys are very nice to Charlie but you all know they will never give him a shot. He will be running the turd herd in practice and will be a 4 year man in the shadows. He should have taken a shot at the schools who offered him. It makes for a feel good story but in reality he has no shot. Name the last walk on who became a starter at QB. I can not think of one maybe someone can. I watched him and he has some game but not SEC material. Someone mentioned Miss State, they signed a very good 6'3" QB out of Florida who is very impressive. I do wish Charlie well and I hope he has a street named after him on campus when it is all said and done, but we all know that will not happen. I just hope he does not regret spending 4 years riding the pine and role playing with the rest of the herd when he might have played and been very productive at a school that was a better fit and who really wanted him.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Two former college fifth-stringers who have done fairly well are Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Not saying Charlie has that kind of potential--though Montana never had a rocket arm at any point in his career and is no bigger than Charlie; nor is Drew Brees any bigger, for that matter--but nobody said those other guys had that kind of potential when they were in the spot Charlie is in.

volwr88 writes:

A 190-200 lb Charlie High that has the speed to give defenses problems will be interesting to watch. Don't count this young man out. If given the opportunity he just might catch Bajakian's eye. If not then 1 year (RS on scout team) and I betcha he gets PU by D1 school. Charlie High is a solid QB with great talent. I understand the size "thing" but again a 6" 200 lb High is a more attractive QB. I'm pulling for him.

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