Tennessee football: Vols 5 most important seniors for 2018 season

BRISTOL, TN - SEPTEMBER 10: Teammates surround defensive lineman Shy Tuttle
BRISTOL, TN - SEPTEMBER 10: Teammates surround defensive lineman Shy Tuttle /
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Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /

He’s not even a guaranteed starter yet. But Tennessee football desperately needs Keller Chryst to be able to emerge onto the scene in fall camp. Otherwise, the Vols will have major growing pains at quarterback Jeremy Pruitt’s first year.

No disrespect to Jarrett Guarantano, but learning the pro-style offense that Tyson Helton is running takes some time. And coming from the Stanford Cardinal, Chryst actually has experience running a pro-style offense.

On top of that, David Shaw recently said he has NFL potential. This is exactly what the Vols need to be able to make a good first impression this year. And if Chryst can’t win the job, then it speaks more to nobody emerging than Guarantano’s greatness. It’s just hard to believe Guarantano, or even Will McBride or JT Shrout, will be able to actually outshine anybody this year.

All three need time to learn the pro-style offense in the college game. Chryst is already there. And if his talent is what people say it is, he could be a huge part of turning the Vols around very early. Assuming that does happen, the graduate transfer senior will become the most important veteran for the Vols on this team.

Right now, though, even without knowing whether or not he’ll start, Chryst is still a crucial senior for Tennessee football. That’s because the Vols actually need him to win the starting job and then stay healthy enough throughout the season. So they’re depending on him in practice before even what he does in game-time.