Redshirt senior Jarrett Guarantano will almost certainly be the Tennessee Vols’ starting quarterback when the 2020 season eventually gets underway.
That’s because of two reasons:
- Spring practice being cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic, which didn’t allow true freshman Harrison Bailey a legitimate opportunity to challenge for the job.
- The SEC experience that Guarantano possesses.
Guarantano, so far, hasn’t delivered on the hype of being the top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the nation in 2016, but he’s remained committed to Tennessee through plenty of ups and downs.
From the disastrous end of the Butch Jones era, to going rogue against Alabama and drawing the ire of the Vol fan base (and his head coach), JG has remained loyal to UT.
It would’ve been easy for Guarantano to leave Knoxville after the 2019 season. He would’ve been eilgible to immediately play at another program. But JG chose to remain at Tennessee to take care of “unfinished business”.
Vol fans might get frustrated with JG at times, but they should still respect his toughness and commitment to UT.
And there’s at least a couple of SEC coaches that agree.
In Lindy’s sports 2020 college football preview, various opposing coaches anonymously gave their take on Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee program.
Here’s what two opposing SEC coaches had to say about Guarantano (via 247Sports):
Their quarterback has got talent and he’s a competitor. That’s the thing that jumps out when you watch him,” another anonymous coach said. “He’s very, very competitive and competes at a high level. But he’s got to get more consistent…. I think their offensive line will be pretty good. If they get good play from the quarterback and running backs, they’ll be good.
Consistency has definitely been a problem for Guarantano.
Though it’s not turnovers that have plagued JG (13 interceptions in 34 career games), it’s the inabilty to connect consistently on the “big play”.
The frustration that fans feel with JG is mostly because of missed wide-open receivers.
If Guarantano can fix his consistency issues, the Vols could be a major threat in the SEC East.
Featured image via Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports