Kaidon Salter, Tennessee football QB signee, delivers exclamation point in playoff win

Blake Toppmeyer
Knoxville News Sentinel

Kaidon Salter shifted to his left, waved his left arm to direct Javien Clemmer where he wanted him to go and zipped a dart to his wide receiver.

Clemmer made a diving catch for a 15-yard touchdown as the final play in Cedar Hill’s 27-24 victory over Rockwall-Heath in the Texas Class 6A Division II quarterfinals on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

The winning touchdown was an exclamation point on a big day for Salter, a four-star prospect who signed with Tennessee in December.

He threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns and added 83 yards rushing, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“I just trusted my receiver. … And I knew I could put it in the perfect spot for him to catch it,” Salter told the Dallas Morning News of his game-winning pass.

Cedar Hill (11-1) will play Guyer High School (11-2) in a semifinal on Saturday.

Clemmer is a New Mexico State signee who had 10 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

Salter will enroll at UT in January, following the conclusion of his season. He’s expected to compete for the Vols’ starting quarterback job.

Jarrett Guarantano, a 32-game career starter, entered the NCAA transfer portal, along with backup J.T. Shrout, who landed at Colorado. Guarantano has not settled on a destination.

Harrison Bailey started the final three games of 2020 for Tennessee to cap his freshman season. He’ll headline the quarterback competition that also will include Brian Maurer, who has appeared in 12 games through two seasons, including four starts in 2019.

The Vols also could look to the transfer market to round out the quarterback competition.

Salter has completed 58.4% of his passes this season, according to the Dallas Morning News, for 2,409 yards, 29 touchdowns and five interceptions.

“He’s having a phenomenal year down there,” Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt said after Salter signed in December. “He’s a winner. He’s a leader … A guy that we can’t wait to get here in the spring.”

Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. Current subscribers can click here to join Blake's subscriber-only text group offering updates and analysis on Vols football.