No surprise here. It is our top offseason storyline and clearly the biggest position battle for Tennessee football this fall camp. And quite honestly, it’s more interesting than just being your regular quarterback battle.
We only had this as the fourth most important position battle in the spring because only two of the competitors, Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride, were on the roster. Both played last year, and Guarantano clearly won the spring battle.
But now, graduate transfer Keller Chryst has arrived from the Stanford Cardinal along with true freshman JT Shrout. These are players Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton specifically targeted, so you know they are going to get lots of looks. On top of that, despite losing the spring, McBride will get the same amount of chances as well.
The wide open competition is going to be highly interesting. What adds to the storyline is not just the four-man competition or the arrival of the newcomers. It’s also about the transition to a pro-style offense and the fact that Pruitt has pretty much said they could use a two-quarterback set until they find the right guy.
He even noted that they could go six weeks into the season without just one starting quarterback. Apparently the coaches treat this position like any other position, and that makes the race very intriguing. The first step is going to be finding out if it truly does become a two-man race, with Chryst and Guarantano as the clear favorites. Then it’s about what Helton and Pruitt value.
Pruitt and Helton will likely find the best fit for their system as opposed to throwing guys in and forcing them to fit, which Butch Jones did. That is crucial at quarterback and makes the race worth following. Whomever starts here could be the biggest factor as to what type of inaugural season Pruitt has on Rocky Top. That’s why it’s the most important position battle for the Vols.