Tennessee QB Tayven Jackson Enters Portal; Vols’ Starter Battle Now Between Joe Milton III, 5-Star Signee Nicholaus Iamaleava

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The Tennessee quarterback race just got down to two.

Freshman Tayven Jackson, a four-star signee from the class of 2022, entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Friday, according to multiple reports that were confirmed by OutKick.

Jackson (6-foot-4, 185) was to be entering spring practice as the Volunteers’ No. 3 quarterback on paper. Senior Joe Milton III – the MVP of the Orange Bowl – and freshman, five-star signee Nicholaus Iamaleava are the top two combatants for the job as Tennessee coach Josh Heupel tries to replace Hendon Hooker.

Iamaleava practiced with the scout team for the Orange Bowl.

Jackson missed most of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 22 yards in three games.

Possible landing spots for Jackson are Indiana and Purdue. He was the No. 13 pro style quarterback in the nation and 198th overall prospect last year out of Center Grove High in Greenwood, Indiana.

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III led his team to a 31-14 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Joe Milton III Started Last 2 Games For Tennessee

Milton is technically the returning starting quarterback as he started the final two games of the season for Tennessee after departing senior Hendon Hooker injured a knee in the loss to South Carolina. Milton completed 19 of 28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-14 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. He hit 11 of 21 for 147 yards and a touchdown in his previous start – a 56-0 win over Vanderbilt.

Iamaleava (6-5, 195) enrolled in December as a member of the class of 2023 and was able to participate in bowl practices and will compete with Milton for the starting job in spring drills. He is the No. 4 overall prospect in the country and No. 3 quarterback, according to 247 Sports. Iamaleava played at Warren High in the Los Angeles area.

Tennessee Could Add A Quarterback Via Transfer Portal

Tennessee also has reserve quarterback Gaston Moore, who will be a junior in the 2023 season. He transferred to the Vols from Central Florida. Heupel left Central Florida to become Tennessee’s coach after the 2020 season. Moore played in three games last season, completing 4 of 5 passes for 30 yards with an interception.

Jackson was Heupel’s only quarterback signee in his 2022 class.

Much like LSU freshman quarterback Walker Howard, who entered the portal this week, Jackson was not interested in entering spring practice as the No. 3 quarterback.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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