An Appreciation: QB Jonathan Crompton

What do you say about Jonathan Crompton? What can't you say about Jonathan Crompton?

If there has been a more confusing, seesaw, puzzling player in college football over the last four years, I want to see him. And this is a conference that has seen Erik Ainge and Blake Mitchell -- at the same position.

After all, this is a quarterback that completed less than 35 percent of his passes against Auburn last year, an 8-for-23 day in which Crompton threw for 2.9 yards per attempt and was involved in a botched handoff at his own goal line that ended up winning the game for the Tigers. But this is also the man who completed 20 of 27 attempts against Georgia this season for 310 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-19 waxing.

Crompton was actually both of those quarterbacks at times in his career -- and sometimes at the same time. One of the enduring mysteries of the Lane Kiffin Quasi-Era at Tennessee will always be how Boy Wonder took a Jonathan Crompton that looked very much like the quarterback who had played most of 2008 -- his passer efficiency rating was 56.97 against UCLA -- and turned him into a signal caller who ranged from competent to very good over his last 10 games.

In fact, only twice in his last eight games did Crompton complete less than 55 percent of his passes -- despite averaging more than 29 attempts a game. Only twice in five games in 2008 in which Crompton threw more than 20 passes did he complete half of them -- a benchmark he never failed to make in those final eight contests.

In the end, we're left to wonder whether there was more where that came from -- and whether Crompton could have found it if Kiffin or someone else had been in Knoxville back in 2006. Because now, he goes down in SEC history as one of the most frustratingly schizophrenic quarterbacks in many years.

But that's better than being the player he appeared to be just a few months ago.

Jonathan Crompton, 2006-09
G COMP ATT COMP % YDS TD INT RAT
33 348 629 55.3 4,187 36 22 123.13
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