A new face emerged in the Tennessee offense last weekend against Pittsburgh. Following an injury to Jalin Hyatt, former blue-chip recruit Jimmy Calloway stepped in after missing week one. Almost instantly, the sophomore receiver was able to change the game.
Calloway took a simple receiver screen and turned it into a 44-yard touchdown, tip-toeing his way down the sidelines and then pulling away from the secondary to tie the game at 20 all. The score was a much needed shot in the arm, as the Volunteers struggled through the second quarter.
I am officially starting the Jimmy Calloway fan club. pic.twitter.com/7GasSLhCU8
— Landon Raby (@lambo_raby10) September 13, 2021
Tennessee receivers coach Kodi Burns believes it’s a sign of things to come for the former high school quarterback.
“Jimmy Calloway is going to be a special player when it’s all said and done,” Tennessee receivers coach Kodi Burns said. “I think it was evident out there on the field this past week that once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a difference-maker. We knew that when he was a quarterback in high school, and slowly starting to develop into a wideout, so really excited about the future with Jimmy.”
Cedric Tillman, Jalin Hyatt and Velus Jones established themselves as the top options in the receivers room to start the season. Calloway generated plenty of buzz through fall camp, however, pushing to crack that rotation. Against Pittsburgh, he got his chance, catching three passes for 59 yards and a score.
“That was just a glimpse of what he can become,” Burns said. “Just got to continue to grow and develop.”
With Hyatt’s status pending, it will be interesting to see what Calloway’s role is going forward. Clearly, the offense changed with Hendon Hooker entering the game in place of the injured Joe Milton. The staff called a more conservative game for Hooker, relying on shorter passes to move the chains. With Milton in place, the plan is to attack down the field, despite very limited success so far.
Tennessee has a get-right spot coming up against Tennessee Tech this weekend, before heading down to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators. It’s a chance to gain some chemistry and work out some issues, while working new contributors like Calloway into the mix even more.