Jesse Scroggins To USC: What Is Tennessee's Answer To the QB's Call?

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IJuly 24, 2009

KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 24:  Mark Jones #10 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs with the ball against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the game on November 24, 2001 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennesse won 38-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Jesse Scroggins, the talented quarterback from Lakewood, CA, gave his verbal commitment to USC, ending a weeks worth of suspense for Trojan, Volunteer, and Gator fans.

Just prior to his signing, I wrote an article that laid out the reasons why I thought signing with the Trojans was a good move for Scroggins.

After having more than 3,000 people read the piece and fielding many comments from passionate Volunteer fans, including many who thought that landing Scroggins was key to the Vol's future, I thought I would write to tell you not to lose hope just yet.

There are factors which may play out that can still result in Scroggins signing with the Volunteers come February signing day.

In 2009, the most highly regarded quarterbacks had already given schools their verbal commitments for their signatures on national signing day in February.

Jesse Scroggins, in addition to being the fastest rising quarterback in the nation, was also the last of the "elite eleven" quarterbacks to give a verbal commitment.

However, there is a possibility that things might change for the quarterbacks who have given verbal commitments in general, and this may occur for Jesse Scroggins in particular.

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Let me lay it out for you.

Scroggins had been quoted in the recent past as saying he wasn't afraid of the competition at USC.

Of course, "competition" is code for Matt Barkley, the mega recruit from Mater Dei, High School in Santa Ana who is a freshman for USC this year.

Now here is where it will get interesting. Scroggins articulated the basis for his possible signing with USC this way:

Jesse Scroggins would redshirt in 2010 and by the time he was ready to play in 2011, he would back up Matt Barkley, after Barkley had wowed the college football world in 2011, Barkley would announce that he was leaving for the NFL and Scroggins would take over in 2012.

Sounds good, but here is the rub.

This plan is predicated on a whole bunch of "ifs." If Matt Barkley redshirts in 2009, the whole Scroggins plan goes to hell. This would mean that Scroggins wouldn't see the field for USC until 2013 at the earliest.

I have reservations about the super talented Mr. Scroggins accepting that scenario.

What does this all mean?

Well, if Matt Barkley doesn't redshirt this year (I, for one, think he should redshirt) then chances are Jesse Scroggins will honor his verbal commitment to the Trojans, who are obviously his first choice.

However, if Matt Barkley does redshirt, all bets are off. There is a good chance that Jesse Scroggins signs with either Tennessee or Florida come February.

Also, Jesse Scroggins has family in Tennessee.

Considering the lack of prep quarterback talent not already committed, look for both the Vol's and the Gator's to monitor the quarterback situation at USC very closely.

So will Jesse Scroggins.


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