There’s no doubt that redshirt sophomore Jarrett Guarantano is the guy to beat in the Tennessee Vols’ ongoing quarterback competition.

But the job won’t be handed to him simply because he has the most experience as the Vols’ starting quarterback.

Guarantano is currently competing with sophomore Will McBride for Tennessee’s starting quarterback gig. Later this summer, it will turn into a three-way race as former Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst will arrive in Knoxville for his final year of eligibility.

Is Guarantano taking a stronghold on the starting QB job?

Early reports from Vol practices have indicated that Guarantano has looked good throwing the ball in drills.

But there’s more to being a successful quarterback in the SEC than throwing the ball against air.

Some players are great practice players, while others perform better in actual games.

Former Vol quarterback Nate Peterman, for example, routinely had great practices. Josh Dobbs, on the other hand, didn’t always practice well. There was no doubt, however, that Dobbs was the better option on gameday.

We already know that Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt believes in “gamers”, which means he isn’t going to anoint a practice star as UT’s starting quarterback next season.

Some high school coaches, who have been privy to some of the Vols’ scrimmage situations, believe that Will McBride would be the starter if the season started today.

SEC Country’s Mike Griffith reported on Monday that one high school coach told him “McBride gets rid of the ball quicker and seems to have the intangibles”.

I don’t think that means McBride is about to overtake Guarantano (I don’t think Pruitt is anywhere close to planning for who will be his starting quarterback in September), but I do think it means the competition is a lot closer than some folks thought it would be.

When Chryst arrives on campus this fall, he’s going to have a legitimate shot at winning the starting job.

He’ll be a bit behind when it comes to learning the offensive system and the terminology of offensive coordinator Tyson Helton’s offense, but he’ll have plenty of Pac-12 experience to lean on during his transition.

If anyone tells you right now they know who the Vols’ starting quarterback will be in 2018, they’re absolutely crazy. Pruitt doesn’t even have a clue yet who it will be.

But the good news for Tennessee is that it’s only April. The Vols still have nearly five months before they line up against a talented West Virginia team.

Hopefully for Pruitt’s sake, one of these three quarterbacks will separate themselves from the pack before the regular seasons begins.

Featured image via Saturday Down South

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