Arch Manning may be stealing all the headlines in 2023, but there are plenty of other elite quarterbacks in that class as well. Tennessee football has been on the radar of one from California for a while, and now they are one step closer to potentially landing him.
Josh Heupel’s Vols are in the top five for Los Angeles County quarterback Nico Iamaleava. A pro-style quarterback, Iamaleava is a five-star across every service except ESPN, where he is a four-star. He stands between 6’5″ and 6’6″ and weighs in the range of 195 to 205 pounds.
Joining Tennessee football on the list of the prospect out of Poly High School in Long Beach, Calif., are the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, Oregon Ducks and Miami Hurricanes. He announced the list Wednesday evening on Twitter.
— 🇼🇸Nicholaus Iamaleava Jr.🇦🇸 (@nico_iamaleava8) March 17, 2022
Obviously, with this being Hendon Hooker’s last year, there’s going to be a wide open quarterback competition heading into 2023. Joe Milton III could still be on the roster as a senior, and Appalachian State Mountaineers transfer Navy Shuler, the son of UT legend Heath Shuler, will also be there.
As of now, though, the star of the future is Tayven Jackson, who committed to the Vols last year as a four-star and was seen as the program’s future under Heupel. He’s still there, but more competition among highly touted quarterbacks is always a good thing.
If Iamaleava chooses Rocky Top, Heupel will be able to have a four-person race that involves two highly touted prospects, two pro-style quarterbacks, two dual-threat quarterbacks and two quarterbacks with experience. It’ll be the perfect combination he needs to find the right guy.
Even more good news for Tennessee football, the Vols are the majority favorite on the Rivals Future Cast, the Rivals Fan Future Cast and On3 to land him. They are the unanimous favorite on the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Given Heupel’s track record with quarterbacks this makes sense, so UT could be in for some great news here soon.