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Tennessee Football: The Most Important Players of 2017: #2 The Quarterback

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Whoever it may be, the quarterback will be one of the most important positions on the roster.

NCAA Football: Tennessee Practice Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

For the first time in a few years, there’s uncertainty at the quarterback position in Knoxville. Josh Dobbs has moved on to the NFL, leaving a void and an opportunity for a new era. With a new quarterback comes a new offensive coordinator in Larry Scott. The offense shouldn’t undergo any drastic changes, but the two quarterbacks on Tennessee’s roster offer varying styles.

On one hand you’ve got the veteran Quinten Dormady — a more pro style passer with more experience in the system. On the other, you’ve got a redshirt freshman in Jarrett Guarantano — a more athletic player that might just fit the offense better.

Butch Jones has stressed that we shouldn’t discount Dormady’s athletic ability, but he would be a far cry from what Dobbs offered the offense in terms of an ability to run the football. My main question for the offense heading into this season is this: how on earth are you going to replace the rushing production that Dobbs left behind?

That may be exactly why Jarrett Guarantano is still in this race. Here’s what our staff had to say about the quarterbacks in 2017.

Terry Lambert: #6

So I’m lower than Evan and Conner here, but I ranked the quarterback at number six based off of comments made by Butch Jones throughout this offseason. It sounds like he wants a game-manager over a game-changer. While the quarterback is usually the most important player on the field, I think Tennessee will lean heavily on their run game in 2017.

Evan Winter: #3

Even though Butch and company have said they'd use a dual-QB system, the feeling here is that someone will eventually win the job. Whoever does win will have a ton of responsibility to shoulder in their first season as a starter. Dormady seems to be the favorite here, but only time will tell who is under center come opening day.

Conner Knapp: #1

The winner of Tennessee’s quarterback competition will obviously be one of the most important players for the Vols in 2017. And he — whether it is Dormady, Guarantano or both — will have large shoes to fill. Tennessee has entered each of the last two seasons with no doubt who would be its starting quarterback. UT’s signal caller will be under much more scrutiny than usual this year and only time will tell how the Vols will fare in the post-Dobbs era.