Josh Heupel took over Tennessee football with a reputation as a quarterback guru, and he immediately lived up to that in his first year. The Vols had one of the best and most efficient passing attacks in the SEC, and they did it largely with a player Heupel did not sign to UT. That was highly impressive.
Expectations are for that success to continue in 2022, but what about beyond this year? That’s where recruiting comes into play. Heupel has to make sure he always has the right person behind center to run the offense and generate the big plays he’s always looking for.
Heupel does have two scholarship quarterbacks he signed, but what’s the 2023 recruiting situation for Tennessee football at quarterback right now during the dead period? This post will evaluate that, looking at quarterbacks on the roster, commitments and targets. Let’s start with quarterbacks who will be gone next year.
Here’s a look at quarterbacks for Josh Heupel and the Tennessee football Volunteers in their 2023 class.
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) throws during the second quarter of the Music City Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville
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QBs on roster who will be gone in 2023
Yes, the reason for the hype train behind Heupel’s second year on the job will no longer be there in 2023. Hendon Hooker, who had arguably the most efficient passing season in UT history, shocked the world with his decision to come back for 2022 and take advantage of the NCAA’s 2020 COVID eligibility ruling.
As a dark-horse Heisman candidate, Hooker, a Virginia Tech Hokies transfer who did not start until the third game of last season, is an elite dual-threat quarterback. Heupel worked magic with him last year and will be expected to do the same this year. That’s leading to cautious optimism at UT.
However, beyond 2022, Tennessee football has an issue. There are other quarterbacks on the roster, but only one has starting experience at this level, and it was not very productive experience. That’s where recruiting comes into play, and the Vols do already have one more player who will join the roster in 2023.