Tennessee Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who told reporters in November “I’m a Tennessee Vol”, won’t be entering the transfer portal for his final year of eligibility.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back at Tennessee, either.
According to a report from The Athletic, Guarantano has no intentions of transferring. The only decision he’s pondering is whether or not to enter the NFL draft.
On the surface, this seems surprising. There’s a legitimate chance, even with Guarantano’s obvious arm talent, that he’d go undrafted (though he’d likely get scooped up by a team after the draft).
But getting paid to be a third string quarterback or hang out on the practice squad might be enticing to Guarantano, who has already graduated from Tennessee.
However, if Guarantano dreams of playing in the NFL, he’d be wise to stay at UT another season.
Nathan Peterman looked worse on the field during his time at Tennessee than Guarantano ever has. But after Peterman transferred to Pittsburgh and played one season under current Vols offensive coordinator Jim Chaney (and another season in 2016 under offensive coordinator Matt Canada), he turned into a fifth round pick.
If Guarantano stays another year at UT, his draft stock could similarly improve.
Staying another year would be beneficial for both Guarantano and Tennessee. It’s clear that Guarantano became a major asset for the Vols down the stretch. He’d be an even bigger asset next year — especially with key contributors like Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings on their way out the door.
I’d expect Guarantano to stick around for his final season of eligibility, but the lure of the NFL — even as an undrafted free agent — might be too tempting for JG to pass up.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today