published Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Vols getting in gear: Worley to Manning QB camp

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley looks to pass against Vanderbilt.
Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley looks to pass against Vanderbilt.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE — Justin Worley will continue trying to lock down the job as Tennessee's starting quarterback three weeks from now when the Volunteers begin preseason training camp.

For the rest of this week, though, the junior's focus will be elsewhere.

Worley is among a handful of college and NFL quarterbacks serving on the 120-man staff at the Manning Passing Academy, the annual July camp conducted by the Manning family, including current NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, for high school skill-position players at Nicholls State University in Louisiana.

The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Worley and the other college quarterbacks serve as counselors, provide coaching to campers in 7-on-7 games and have the chance to showcase their own skills. Matt Simms (2010) and Tyler Bray (2012) also attended the camp from Tennessee in recent years.

Worley is, however, the only Southeastern Conference quarterback that isn't appearing at the league's media days next week. Alabama's A.J. McCarron, Georgia's Aaron Murray, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, South Carolina's Connor Shaw, LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Ole Miss's Bo Wallace, Mississippi State's Tyler Russell and Florida's Jeff Driskel are on the rosters for both the Manning event and the SEC's annual July kickoff in Hoover, Ala.

Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Michigan's Devin Gardner are among the nation's top quarterbacks who are headed to Louisiana.

Though first-year coach Butch Jones elected not to name a starter at the end of spring practice, Worley will begin August practice as the favorite to earn the Vols' starting job ahead of redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman and freshmen Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson. Though Worley was the lowest-rated of the quartet coming out of high school according to Rivals.com, he's the lone quarterback on Tennessee's roster with any experience and showed that advantage during spring practice. As a freshman in 2011, Worley started a three-game stretch against South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State and Arkansas when Bray was sidelined with a broken thumb.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrowntfp.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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