One thing that is very clear is Tennessee football needs to establish a backup quarterback. As Jeremy Pruitt said at SEC Media Days, the Vols have nobody on the roster behind Jarrett Guarantano who has ever played a snap of college ball.
But with the graduation of Keller Chryst and the fact that Guarantano was knocked out of three games last year, it’s clear a backup will have to come through. Brian Maurer does bring that potential as a true freshman. But the backup job should be J.T. Shrout’s job to lose.
Shrout battled injuries early in his high school career, and that limited his star rating. But he has a huge arm, one that drew the attention of NFL scouts. And it also drew the attention of Pruitt, who let two four-star Butch Jones commitments at quarterback go when he took over in order to go for this three-star recruit.
After redshirting, Shrout will be the perfect guy to back up Guarantano. Jim Chaney loves guys with big arms, and his profile makes him the type of player to keep things as similar to Guarantano’s style as possible. Given what happened last year, Shrout is likely to play as well, and he has the potential to be very effective with the big receivers he’ll be throwing to.