KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee coach Josh Heupel has named 6’5″, 244-pound redshirt junior Michigan-transfer Joe Milton III as the Vols’ starting quarterback ahead of September 2 season opener against Bowling Green.

Joe Milton III. Photo:

Milton appeared in 14 games at Michigan, starting in five of those games with a 2-3 record. He completed 86 passes on 152 attempts for 1,194 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. On the ground, Milton rushed for 156 yards on 50 attempts and three touchdowns. Milton comes in with a lot to prove after a less-than-stellar stint at Michigan, although his starts all came in during a very short season for the Wolverines due to COVID-19 as he played in all six games.

Heupel announced Milton as the starter when speaking to the media on Monday after practice. He added that Harrison Bailey and Hendon Hooker have handled the news in a positive way, and didn’t rule out the possibility of playing multiple quarterbacks.

He said, “Every game unfolds in a different situation, the strength of one position can never be one guy.” Milton has been practicing with the first team for the last seven to 10 days.

Milton will look to open up the highly-touted Heupel offense as Neyland Stadium will commence its 100th season on Thursday. Their next matchup will be against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first-ever Johnny Majors Classic in honor of the legendary former coach of both programs who passed away last year.

The Vols also released its full depth chart ahead of their primetime matchup with the Falcons:

Tennessee Football

Heupel reported that the Vols’ vaccination rate is now above 80%. Masks have also been required in meeting rooms.

Reminder: The University of Tennessee will not require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter Neyland Stadium on gameday.