Tennessee football adds another elite quarterback, adds to bright future

Tennessee football is a team to watch in the SEC as one to fill the power vacuum left by the retirement of Nick Saban from Alabama.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel turns to quarterback Nico Iamaleava (8) after their post game
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel turns to quarterback Nico Iamaleava (8) after their post game / Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

With the recent retirement of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, you have to wonder if the Crimson Tide are poised to take a step back.

Following the incredible run by Saban, it's hard to see Alabama maintaining that. Kalen DeBoer is a really good head coach and Alabama is still very talented. However, there has been a mass exodus and DeBoer will have to prove he can recruit at the same level as Saban.

If there are some programs ready to take advantage of a drop off from Alabama, Tennessee football is as well-positioned as any of them, especially with the commitment of another five-star quarterback on Monday, George MacIntyre.

MacIntyre is 6-foot-5 and out of Brentwood, Tennessee. He's ranked 15th overall in the 2025 class according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings. He's also third among quarterbacks and it's the second time in three classes that the Vols have landed a top-three quarterback.

Nico Iamaleava is the former No. 2 quarterback in the 2023 class. He's a super-elite athlete and is ready to lead the Vols into the 2024 season. He's probably expected to play for the next two seasons, then if all goes according to plan, he'll leave Tennessee football for the NFL.

MacIntyre would be able join the roster prior to the 2025 season when Iamaleava would be entering his junior season. MacIntyre could redshirt and have 2-3 seasons to play after that, meaning Tennessee football is about to have a five-star quarterback starting for the next 4-5 years.

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Josh Heupel hasn't gotten Tennessee football to the SEC championship game or the College Football Playoff. But with it expanding to 12 teams this year, it seems like the Vols are going to take that step soon and if were to choose one SEC program that could take advantage of an Alabama drop-off, it would be Tennessee, thanks to the incredibly bright future at quarterback.