Jeremy Pruitt has been putting a ton of faith in Jarrett Guarantano since arriving on Rocky Top, and he took it to another level by naming Guarantano as one of the three Tennessee Vols players going to SEC Media Days this week. It’s clear he wants Guarantano to emerge as a star.
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However, Guarantano is not unique. And the one thing that is scary for the Vols this year is that Guarantano playing well won’t give them an advantage over SEC teams. It’s necessary to keep them on par with SEC teams.
There are nine quarterbacks heading to the event this week in Hoover representing different schools. Heisman-candidate Tua Tagovailoa for the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the way. Then there’s Feleipe Franks of the Florida Gators, and experienced quarterback who has a history of torturing the Vols in his own right.
Jake Fromm of the Georgia Bulldogs, Joe Burrow of the LSU Tigers, Matt Corral of the Ole Miss Rebels, Kelly Bryant of the Missouri Tigers Jake Bentley of the South Carolina Gamecocks and Kellen Mond of the Texas A&M Aggies are all going as well. Simply put, it’s the year of the quarterback for a conference that built its reputation on elite defense.
Pay attention to how all these guys handle the pressure. Some of these guys, like Guarantano, appear to have a ton of skill and potential so their coach brought them to force leadership skills on them. For instance, Bryant is a Clemson Tigers transfer, and Barry Odom is ready to send him.
The quarterbacks taking the podium at SEC Media Days is a more intriguing story than even the coaches this year. It’s a very unique time for the league, and the Tennessee Vols are a part of this. As a result, they should pay attention to how everything goes down here.