1. Quarterback race
Just like the transition to the 3-4 defense, the focus on the quarterback race was a big storyline of spring practice for Tennessee football. However, that was just a semifinal race. The battle is about to be much more intense now, as better competitors are coming in.
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Let’s be honest, Jarrett Guarantano vs. Will McBride back in the spring wasn’t much of a battle. Everybody knew that Guarantano would win that, and he did. The real story was what would happen when Keller Chryst, the graduate transfer from the Stanford Cardinal, and true freshman JT Shrout arrive.
Although Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton say all four guys will compete, it’s pretty clear at this point McBride is likely out of the race. The story is what happens between Guarantano, the guy with the big arm and the potential, and Chryst, the fifth-year senior who has experience running a pro-style offense.
Shrout, meanwhile, is the wildcard. McBride is the insane long-shot upset that nobody should ever put any money on. That’s how this all breaks down. And it is a heck of a lot more interesting than what went on back in spring practice.
The Vols had a quarterback battle last year, so this is nothing new. Guarantano has been in both. Whomever wins the spot, though, will clearly have earned it. That’s the good news surrounding the Vols in these position races.
So far, we’ve already learned one thing. Tennessee football could run a two-quarterback rotation into the season. Pruitt said that in his fall camp opening press conference, noting he treats the position like any other. As a result, while this is the top story of fall camp, it’s one that could go on for a while.