Tennessee football’s quarterback battle points to Keller Chryst right now. But in 2019, will Volunteers freshman JT Shrout be able to outshine the others?
There’s a tight quarterback battle in 2018 for Tennessee football, and it appears to come down to Keller Chryst and Jarrett Guarantano. But could they end up in the same place for 2019 with Guarantano and JT Shrout?
Chryst appears to be the favorite to win the starting job for 2018. He provides the leadership and winning experience to implement immediate impact. Guarantano is a close second. As it stands, though, nothing is set in stone. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt claims this is still a four-man race.
Vols fans might want to keep their eyes peeled in 2019. While yes, Guarantano has a cannon for an arm and has proven to be somewhat mobile, he lacks the awareness to escape a collapsing pocket. The number of sacks he took last year is quite alarming.
In that case… Consider what happened in the Georgia Tech opener in 2017. Butch Jones hadn’t done anything to lose his team (yet). When he practically refused to play Guarantano, JG was not a happy camper. His attitude on the sideline proved a bit toxic at the time. Not to mention the tantrum at the end of the S.C. game.
I can’t imagine he gets any happier if in 2018 when he’s supposed to be the starter, he ends up being no. 2 again. He’s too competitive to settle for that spot, unless he’s changed and completely bought in to the new staff and Jeremy Pruitt.
So here’s some food for thought…would Guarantano transfer?
None of us really know. It’s not exactly an easy situation for him. Imagine it being his 4th year with Tennessee football (1st year redshirt) and he’s still fighting for the starting position. That’s the competition of the SEC.
If you’re not constantly improving your game, you’ll be passed up. Look at Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa at Bama.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT JT SHROUT:
Shrout is an West Coast kid that Tennessee football was able to snag up last minute. If I can leave you with anything I will leave you with two sets of highlights.
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As we all know, Sam Darnold was the prodigy QB at USC last season that lead the team to a PAC-12 championship and is a product of Vols’ new OC Tyson Heltson. The similarities between these two quarterbacks are uncanny. They look exactly the same. Style, mobility, accuracy, agility, speed, you name it.
Shrout is a quarterback that Tyson Helton went after personally. He can throw with pinpoint accuracy and knows when to get the heck out of the pocket. He thinks on his feet and shows a really fluid body type that you don’t necessarily see from Guarantano.
Not to mention, he’s already impressed loads of NFL scouts and threw for over 3,300 yards in his high school career. The interceptions are troublesome (30+) but that’s nothing a bit of coaching under a whiz like Helton can’t fix.
He’s loose, he’s confident and he wants to play for Tennessee football and Tyson Helton. Guarantano does too and he has a lot of upside. The interesting thing about the Shrout theory is it could be completely switched. Guarantano could have a breakout off season next year (or 2018 season) and be the prodigy Helton was looking for.
Only time will tell. I did, however, have to mention that Darnold and Shrout are nearly clones in skill. So the potential is there, and maybe Shrout is the guy for the future. Simply put, the Vols are not going to be settled at quarterback for the long-term by the end of this year.