If Dominick Wood-Anderson, Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway all figure to be impact players for Tennessee football this year, well the guy who is getting them the ball obviously has to be an impact player as well. Jeremy Pruitt has done a great job showing confidence in Jarrett Guarantano ever since he arrived on Rocky Top, even as a graduate transfer had arrived there last year.
This year, with the arrival of Jim Chaney to replace Tyson Helton, there are expectations for Guarantano to explode onto the scene with his size and big arm. Despite a 6-12 record as a starter, only 12 touchdowns last year and an average of less than 160 yards a game last year, the 6’4″ 213-pound fourth year junior has shown incredible potential.
After all, he completed 62 percent of his passes, and he only threw three interceptions, making for a four-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio. Meanwhile, he averaged nearly eight yards an attempt. Add in the fact that he led the SEC in passing efficiency while under pressure and you can see where his talent comes into play. He just needs a chance to air it out more.
The problem is he statistically was under pressure more than anybody else in the conference. This year, with a better offensive line and Chaney back, he could take a giant leap forward. And he may not get hit so much after being knocked out of three games last year. His play against the Auburn Tigers showed he can be a winner. Now, he should have more opportunities to do that.