Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt, like most other head football coaches, loves to preach about competition and all positions being up for grabs at all times.

And that’s certainly the right thing to say — players should always be competing to keep their starting spots.

But I think we’d be foolish to think there’s going to be a quarterback battle on Rocky Top this spring/fall.

In fact, Pruitt, in a thinly veiled manner, essentially said as much after Tennessee’s practice on Monday.

Pruitt made sure to point out Guarantano’s experience and the fact that the game has “slowed down” for him since last season.

UT’s head coach was also extremely complimentary of the Vols’ offense on Monday, saying they “kicked the defense’s tail”.

Obviously Pruitt was upset with his defense, but it’s still extremely rare to hear him heap that much praise on the offense. Especially considering where the offense was a year ago at this time.

I know there’s a contingent of fans that, for whatever reason, aren’t fans of Guarantano. But barring any injuries, this is 100 percent Guarantano’s team and offense.

(It would take a very serious injury to sideline Guarantano, he’s as tough as they come.)

Better offensive line play, combined with a Jim Chaney called offense, should set the redshirt junior up to have a much better season in 2019.

I don’t think fans should expect Guarantano to be a Heisman Trophy finalist by any means, but I believe you’ll see him take a significant step forward this upcoming season.

The only way redshirt freshman JT Shrout or true freshman Brian Maurer will see action next season is if Guarantano suffers a catastrophic injury or one of the two backup quarterbacks is called upon for some mop-up duty in a blow out.

It’s Guarantano or bust for the Vols in 2019.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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