A career in college Colquitt took over as Tennessee's starting quarterback after Shuler entered the NFL draft following his junior season, leading a quarterback corps that included future Colorado Rockies baseball All-Star Todd Helton, future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning, and future Texas A&M quarterback Branndon Stewart. Colquitt went 8-3 as a starter, helping lead the Volunteers to a 5-5 record in 1996, but he also threw 13 interceptions that year.
Colquitt departed after his only losing season as a starter, but Manning came into his own as a passer during his final season at Tennessee, setting school records for most wins (9) and passing yards (4,143). He also led the Vols to their first ever SEC Championship game appearance, where they lost to Florida 21-14. After graduating, Manning entered the 1997 NFL Draft, where he was selected second overall by the Indianapolis Colts.
Manning would go on to become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, winning two Super Bowl titles with the Denver Broncos and being named the NFL's Most Valuable Player twice. He currently ranks third all time in passing yards (54,163), fifth in touchdown passes (4,057), and seventh in completion percentage (.62).
After Manning, the next most successful quarterback at Tennessee was John Brantley, who played from 1998 to 2001 and won 31 games during his tenure.
Harrison Bailey, a sophomore, concluded the 2020 season as Tennessee's starting quarterback. Junior Brian Maurer has struggled with injuries during his time at UT, but he's a highly athletic quarterback who can be a playmaker in Heupel's attack. Maurer started three games in 2019 before suffering an ankle injury that required surgery. He returned for the Sunbelt Conference championship game but did not re-enter the lineup afterward.
Bailey came into his own during his first season as a starter. The Florida native led all quarterbacks in the SEC in total offense (3,744 yards) and passing efficiency (161.5). His 36 touchdowns threw only four interceptions.
Bailey replaced an injured JUCO transfer in 2018 named Jarrett Stidham. The then-17-year-old showed great promise in his debut against South Carolina, completing 19 of 31 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. However, Stidham was injured early in the next game against Vanderbilt and had to be helped off the field. He ended up missing the rest of the season after having knee surgery.
Before Stidham arrived on campus, Nathan Peterman served as Tennessee's starting quarterback for one game in 2017 when Josh Jackson suffered an injury. Peterman went 3-for-10 for 20 yards with an interception before being replaced by Stidham.
Colts of Indianapolis Time/Peyton Manning's nomination The Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning, a 6'5", 230-pound quarterback out of the University of Tennessee, first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.
Manning led the Colts to their first ever Super Bowl victory after the 1999 season when they defeated the New England Patriots. In his career, he has won two NFL Most Valuable Player awards and has made ten straight playoff appearances, including eight consecutive seasons with at least 12 wins. The last time an NFL quarterback had so many victories during that span was when Joe Montana did so for the San Francisco 49ers from 1981 to '89.
After his success in Indianapolis, Manning moved to the Denver Broncos where he continued as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He finished his career with 5540 yards passing with 51 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions. At the end of the 2011 season, Manning was released by the Broncos after he failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. In 2012, he signed with the New York Giants but was traded to the Denver Broncos later in the week as part of a deal that sent him to Denver ahead of schedule. Although he never played a game for the Giants, he is still under contract with them through 2014. In 2015, Manning returned to Indianapolis and announced that he would be returning to play for the Colts again.