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With Ty Simpson off the board, where will Tennessee turn?

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NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

With 5-star in-state quarterback Ty Simpson announcing his commitment to Alabama, the Tennessee Volunteers will be looking for a different signal caller for the 2022 class. It always stings to lose out on a highly ranked Tennessee prospect—but could the miss lead Tennessee to a different blue chip quarterback? If new head coach Josh Heupel and his staff play their cards right, it just might turn out that way.

Enter Sam Horn.

Horn is a 4-star quarterback out of Suwanee, Georgia, ranked as the No. 82 overall player and the No. 6 pro-style quarterback. If you’re still reeling from the Simpson commitment, then Horn might just soothe some of your worries.

Horn has been interested in Tennessee for quite some time. There was enough of a relationship with the previous Tennessee staff that some felt Horn was going to end up at Tennessee regardless of what Simpson did. The new staff may have changed that calculus, but they are showing Horn he is still very much a priority for the class. It also helps that Horn isn’t making a decision as early as Simpson, which gives the staff more time to build a relationship.

A look at his high school stats might sell you on him as a prospect. In one of Georgia’s highest classifications, Horn put up over 40 touchdowns and nearly 4000 yards as a Junior. Granted, he plays for a very pass-heavy Collins Hill team, but a look at his tape shows he’s not just a product of reps. Horn has a nice touch on the ball in general, but it especially flashes when he’s throwing downfield. In fact, it’s probably the most exciting part of his game. He’s always looking to make a play and punish a defense for keeping their safeties in the box. Heck, there’s enough clips where Horn actually throws his receiver open despite being covered by both a corner and a safety. He just has a knack for finding the openings in the secondary.

Horn’s arm is good enough to make every throw on the field—although I wouldn’t say he has tremendous zip. That will get him in trouble at the next level if he’s asked to make more intermediate throws. His athleticism is rarely on display since he’s more comfortable in the pocket, but Horn isn’t a statue. In my opinion, he’s more mobile than someone like Harrison Bailey, but the two do have similar traits. Horn also boasts a good frame that hasn’t filled out yet.

There’s some worry about why Horn is just now getting major attention from bigger schools. If I had to wager, I think it’s because (1) the team he plays for in high school is pass-heavy and (2) he has the #1 athlete in the country—Travis Hunter—helping him out. Those two alone will give teams pause about how Horn translates to the next level. I’m thinking of a guy like Robby Ashford, who played for Hoover High School in Alabama with George Pickens. Ashford was a fine prospect, but it’s undeniable that he was boosted by Pickens.

*As a side note, I do not believe Travis Hunter is an option for Tennessee. Regardless of what Horn does. Hunter is very firm to Florida State.

That being said, Horn has already picked up offers from places like Florida and Florida State. There’s also rumors that both schools have moved him up on their boards and will continue to push for him. You can bet that a productive quarterback in Georgia will continue to get monitored by top schools as the process goes on. If Horn puts up another season like he just had, there’s a good chance that more programs will extend an offer.

All the more reason for Tennessee to try and get Horn in the boat early. While we don’t expect him to announce anything immediately, he could very well announce this summer. It would be a great sign for Josh Heupel and staff if they could make waves and grab a top-100 quarterback to start off the class.