1. Keller Chryst gives Vols a chance to win early with Jeremy Pruitt.
The biggest argument in Jarrett Guarantano’s favor is that he’s a redshirt sophomore. That will allow Tennessee football, a program rebuilding under first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt, to grow with its quarterback.
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Let me just say up front, that’s not a good idea. In other circumstances, it would be. But the Vols are not a program in the same situation as the Alabama Crimson Tide when Nick Saban took over in 2007 and the Georgia Bulldogs when Kirby Smart took over in 2016.
Simply put, the program is in much worse shape. Alabama rivaled it, but Saban came in with instant credibility. He was a national championship winning coach, so recruiting was going to be easier. Meanwhile, Smart followed a coach in Mark Richt who had stocked the cupboard.
Pruitt, meanwhile, does not have Saban’s credibility for obvious reasons. He also doesn’t have a roster as stacked as Georgia’s was. And unlike the other two, he’s completely changing the system. As a result, while recruiting for the future is what builds programs, the best way for the Vols to recruit big is to win big early.
In fact, that’s what they need to do. And based on the other things we’ve noted, there’s no question that right now Chryst gives the Vols a slightly better chance to win games. He’s just more ready, so he also gives them a chance to win early, and that’s huge with their first game coming against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Even if it’s just a slight edge, Tennessee football needs to go with Chryst this year. They’ll likely be in quite a few close games again, and the added experience at quarterback in this offense will come in handy. That makes for a great reason to start Chryst, and it’s one of many that I say he should be the Vols’ starting quarterback.