Vols’ 2023 quarterback battle begins in regular-season finale at Vanderbilt

No. 11 Tennessee (9-2, 5-2 SEC) will play at Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5 SEC) Saturday in Week 13.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. EST (SEC Network) at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The in-state contest is the regular-season finale for both teams.

Redshirt senior Joe Milton III will serve as Tennessee’s starting quarterback versus the Commodores. Redshirt sophomore Gaston Moore is listed as the Vols’ backup quarterback at Vanderbilt.

Tennessee redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker’s collegiate career ended Nov. 19 at South Carolina.

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Hooker suffered a season-ending injury versus the Gamecocks with a torn ACL in his left knee.

If Milton III intends to return in 2023 with one season remaining of eligibility, he would join Moore, freshman Tayven Jackson and redshirt sophomore Navy Shuler in a quarterback competition during spring practices in replacing Hooker.

2023 quarterback commit Nico Iamaleava Jr. is also slated to be an early enrollee at Tennessee during spring practices.

The Vols could also pursue an additional signal-caller in the transfer portal.

Below are Tennessee’s quarterbacks by the numbers ahead of the Vols’ final two games in 2022 and spring practices.

Joe Milton III (6-foot-5, 245 pounds)

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

  • Passing: 141-of-247, 2,142 yards, 13 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 16 sacks

  • Rushing: 85 attempts, 357 yards, 5 touchdowns

(2018-20 at Michigan, 2021-22 at Tennessee)
*2020 does not count against eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic; redshirted in 2018 at Michigan

Gaston Moore (6-foot-2, 207 pounds)

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

  • Passing: 5-of-6, 32 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 0 sacks

  • Rushing: No stats

(2020 at UCF working with the Knights’ scout team under Josh Heupel, 2021-22 at Tennessee)

Tayven Jackson (6-foot-3, 200 pounds)

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

  • Passing: 3-of-4, 37 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 1 sack

  • Rushing: 4 attempts, 10 yards, one touchdown

Navy Shuler (6-foot, 206 pounds)

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

  • Passing: No stats

  • Rushing: 1 attempt, -18 yards, 0 touchdowns

(2020-21 at Appalachian State and did not record any stats, 2022 at Tennessee)

Nico Iamaleava Jr. (6-foot-5, 195 pounds)

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

  • Committed to Tennessee March 21, 2022

Story originally appeared on Vols Wire