Redshirt Junior; 6’4″ 213 lbs; Lodi, N.J.
Entering his junior year, Jarrett Guarantano is dealing with a lot of hype but not raw production to back it up. Since taking over for Quinten Dormady in 2017, he has gone 6-12 as a starter and didn’t even finish one of those wins.
Meanwhile, he averaged only 152 yards a game in those starts, and he only threw for 12 touchdowns after starting the full season last year. And the offense as a whole was outside of the top 100.
However, he was one of three Vols players at SEC Media Days despite not being a senior. He also has lots of scouts talking about his pro potential. So there is a disconnect. But that’s understandable given the ingrained issues with Tennessee football the past two years, including a historically bad offensive line.
And his advanced metrics showed it. Many of the problems couldn’t be put on Guarantano, and his advanced metrics showed it. He had only three interceptions for a 4-1 TD-INT ratio, he completed 57 percent of his passes while under pressure, the best in the SEC, and he did average just under eight yards per attempt. So numerous data points show his potential.
This year, he gets to play for Jim Chaney, who replaced Tyson Helton as offensive coordinator. Chaney knows how to maximize the talents of quarterbacks with big arms, and Guarantano has shown himself to have that in the past. After throwing for four touchdowns in the Spring Game and being named MVP, the expectations are now there for Guarantano to take a big step in 2019.
Tennessee football clearly has some elite weapons. Jauan Jennings is a proven receiver, Ty Chandler is a proven playmaker in the passing game, and Marquez Callaway, Josh Palmer and Brandon Johnson have all shown potential. Dominick Wood-Anderson has done so at tight end as well. So if the line is decent, the only question will be if Guarantano can perform at a high level.