Quarterback Quinten Dormady ready for final stop of college career
The 2017 matchup between Florida and Tennessee was another fantastic chapter in a historic SEC rivalry.
In that game, the Volunteers made a strong comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 of their 20 points in the final frame. The Gators carried a 6-3 lead into that quarter and needed a last second hail mary from 63 yards out to win for the 12th time in 13 years.
In an ironic twist of fate, both teams had leaders that now hold importance on the Central Michigan football team. Senior transfer quarterback Quinten Dormady from Tennessee and coach Jim McElwain from Florida.
McElwain led the Gators to victory while Dormady was on the losing end, but he had arguably one of the best starts of his career. He threw for a career-best 259 yards, a touchdown, but threw three interceptions as the Vols fell just short.
"We kind of take jabs and messing with each other," Dormady said. "That one brings back bad memories for me and good ones for him, so it is what it is."
With the 2019 season opener against Albany on Aug. 29 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium just 13 days away, Dormady has been tabbed the starting quarterback.
He has showcased a lot of the skill that brought him to Knoxville in 2015 and to Houston for just one game as he took a medical redshirt to preserve his eligibility.
Dormady said that he has a more traditional style when it comes to his play, but he can show some spark with his legs when he has to.
"I'm a pocket passer," he said. "But I have the ability to get out of the pocket but you have to in today's game. I'm not a guy who's going to run 50 zone reads per game or take off 25 times in a game, that's why we have (senior running back Jonathan) Ward and those guys."
That ability to either run the ball or sling it around the yard is something McElwain expects work in the run-pass option or spread offensive scheme that the Chippewas are running this season.
McElwain has doled out a lot of praise for his quarterbacks, but he was particularly impressed with Dormady and his ability to latch onto the offense.
"(Dormady) has been really good," McElwain said. "He jumped up and got ahold of it pretty quickly in the spring and that's why he's on the top of the depth chart."
Ward has had more of an involvement in the passing game during fall camp. He's worked with the receiving corps during individual drills in almost every practice. Ward could be used as a slot receiver or take handoffs from Dormady in that read-option package.
"We click," Ward said of his relationship of Dormady. "He's a competitor and a guy who's played a lot of football and it's good to have someone come in who already knows the game of football."
Part of why Dormady gels with other players in the program is because he knows the game well. He has seen it for the past six seasons in the college ranks and was a dominant force in high school.
Junior wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan said that Dormady's experience will help bolster the passing game and the offense as a whole.
"He's a good leader," Sullivan said. "It feels good to have a quarterback that knows every position on the field and how he reads defenses. The energy he brings and gives off to us and we can learn from him, too."
As a rare double-graduate transfer, Dormady is 23 years old. He's also just taking one graduate class and he is married, so he appears to have the majority of his focus on the game.
He also a mature quarterback and the experience he's had makes him a leader in the locker room.
"I'm trying to help some of the younger guys who may not have been in the same situations I've been in," Dormady said. "I've been to a couple different places in a lot of situations, so I always think there's something that I can bring and help the younger guys."
Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye is beginning his first year with the Chippewa program, all but one assistants are under McElwain.
Frye has a history with CMU and Kelly/Shorts Stadium, as he torched the Chippewas for 416 yards and two scores in 2003 when Akron came to town. Frye also had experience in the NFL, starting 23 games with the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns in his career.
Frye said that the journey Dormady has been on has molded him into the mature starting quarterback that he is today.
"You learn through experience and you learn through failure," Frye said. "It teaches you more than anything you can do in a classroom or anything I can tell him. (Quarterback) is a position you learn from experience and you take those experiences and become a better player."