With less than a week remaining in spring practice, Tennessee is reportedly adding to its quarterback room. Per Volquest, former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton is enrolled at Tennessee, and will join the team after spring practice concludes.
Milton is a former four-star quarterback out of Orlando. The 6-5, 225 pound signal caller won the starting gig for the Wolverines last year, but was replaced after just a handful of games. Milton appeared in six games in 2020, throwing for 1,077 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
The NCAA installed a one-time transfer rule last week, clearing the way for Milton to be eligible to play this fall. Of course that brings the current quarterback depth chart into question, which features Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker, Brian Maurer and Harrison Bailey. Kaidon Salter has missed the entire spring due to suspension.
It’s tough to get a solid read on where the race stands, but Hooker and Maurer have seemingly generated the most buzz to this point. Adding Milton gives Tennessee a fifth scholarship quarterback in the race, further complicating the matter and potentially forcing one to transfer out.
Each passer has been adapting to the dramatically different offense of Josh Heupel this spring, looking to capitalize on a fresh start.
“I think operationally, (the quarterbacks) have come light years from when we first started as a group, understanding the communication process, the tempo that we want to play at,” Heupel said of his quarterbacks on Saturday. “Within that tempo, being able to have control of the game. I think as we finish this next week, they should be able to make another jump. I think they got a chance to take a huge stride in June and July before we get back in training camp.”
Clearly Milton has some catching up to do here, but he’s going to offer this staff a wildcard in the battle this fall. He’s another guy that brings some mobility to the table, but also offers a huge arm more than capable of pushing the ball down the field, something Heupel likes to do often with his offense.
Saturday’s Orange and White Game will give us a snapshot of where Maurer, Hooker and Bailey stand as we enter the summer. We’ll see how much ground Milton can make up as camp opens in August.