The Tennessee Vols will face a steep challenge in their 2018 season opener against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

That’s mostly because of quarterback Will Grier, a former Florida Gators signal caller who is considered by many analysts to be a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2018.

Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt has never coached against Grier (Grier was suspended when Georgia and Florida played in 2015), but he still thinks highly of the Davidson, NC native.

At a recent luncheon for the Belk College football kickoff in Charlotte, Pruitt compared Grier to former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

I did watch a bunch of tape during the month of May and he reminds me of a guy that played at Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel. I mean he can extend, he’s a great athlete, he’s obviously a great competitor, He runs with toughness, can make all the throws and extends plays. They do a fantastic job. he knows where the ball is going pre-snap, gets all their RPO stuff, gets the ball out of his hand. He does a fantastic job. so yeah, he’s a great player.

Pruitt faced Manziel as Alabama’s defensive backs coach in 2012. Manziel tossed for 253 yards and rushed for 92 yards in Texas A&M’s 29-24 win against the Tide. The Aggies quarterback went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

It sounds like the Vols’ defense is going to have their work cut out for them on September 1.

West Virginia is currently a 6.5 point favorite over Tennessee, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Vols are coming off a historically bad 4-8 season and they’ll be deploying a new defensive look for the first time against the Mountaineers.

It’s definitely not an ideal matchup for Tennessee.

But the schedule is what it is and I’m sure Pruitt will have his team as well prepared as they possibly can be.

Featured image via Getty Images/Times Free Press

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