By Jason Yellin
With just a few days remaining until the start of the 2015 season, the Vols continue preseason training.
Following a recent practice, three of the youngest members of Team 119 addressed the media for the first time of Fall Training Camp. Freshman quarterback Quinten Dormady, defensive lineman Kyle Phillips and linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. each took time to discuss their fall camp progress and experiences, while Head Coach Butch Jones continued to praise the group’s talent and work ethic.
“I’ve been very, very pleased with this recruiting class,” Jones said. “They’re very close. They have a great work ethic. They have a very strong character about themselves. They have great competitive character and they’re intelligent and they’re pushing each other.”
While the Vols’ freshman group has taken the initiative to adopt Tennessee’s values and expectations as a football program, Jones also credits the team leadership from upperclassmen and the freshmen’s determination to mimic their work ethic.
“They have walked in from Day 1 and have embraced our standards and our expectations within our football program,” Jones said. “I think that’s a tribute to all of our older players. We’re still not there yet in terms of the elite programs in the country, in terms of competitive depth, but I’ve been very proud of this freshman class. They’re doing a very good job.”
With his black stripe gone and his name already listed on the Volunteer depth chart at the No. 2 quarterback spot, freshman Quinten Dormady believes his arrival on campus last spring as an early enrollee was the catalyst for his rapid development this fall.
“I think [I’m] just more comfortable in the sense of the playbook,” the former 4-star prospect said. “Getting back out there with the guys that I’ve already been with seven or eight months helps and I think that that’s grown as I’ve been here.”
That familiarity has bred confidence for the Boerne, Texas, native. Embracing his role as the backup quarterback, Dormady knows his primary duty is to be fully prepared to perform when called upon.
“I’m here to be ready for whenever I do get my chance,” said Dormady. “That’s how I’m approaching every day and I’m just here to compete. It’s obviously fun to be out there with the guys and that kind of thing as my relationship keeps growing with them.”