Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt isn’t tipping his hand when it comes to who UT’s starting quarterback will be against the West Virginia Mountaineers on September 1.

But it’s become apparent in the last few days that redshirt sophomore Jarrett Guarantano will likely get the nod over graduate transfer Keller Chryst.

VolQuest’s Austin Price appeared on the Midday 180 on Monday and said it’s evident to people close to the program that “this is going to be Guarantano’s show”. Price mentioned there are throws that Chryst can’t make that Guarantano can.

On Wednesday, CBS Sports analyst Gary Danielson, who will be calling the Volunteers’ season opener against the Mountaineers, continued the praise for Guarantano on the Vols Wire podcast.

Here’s what he had to say about Tennessee’s likely starting quarterback.

Jarrett Guarantano really surprised me this year…..I thought he handled himself great. I thought he kept his nose to the grindstone. He did his homework, he got ready to play. When he played, he competed very hard. He was a great teammate, he was a great representative….I love the way he grew. He needs to get bigger and stronger, which I’m sure he is.…I really can’t wait to see him.

Guarantano had an up-and-down 2017 season, but it’s mostly because he wasn’t put in a position to succeed.

By the time former Vols head coach Butch Jones made a quarterback change last season, the program was in shambles. It was an impossible situation for Guarantano.

I’m definitely among those who believe it’s not fair, in any way, to judge Guarantano based on last season’s stats. It’s best to just call it a lost season and start fresh (though the experience he gained is invaluable).

Guarantano has a ton of upside. And he has a quarterbacks coach in Tyson Helton that should be able to maximize his talent.

The quarterback situation is certainly a question mark for the Vols heading into the 2018 season, but it appears there’s plenty of reason for optimism.

Featured image via USA Today

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