Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt has made it clear this spring that Jarrett Guarantano will be UT’s starting quarterback in 2019.

Pruitt surprisingly raved about Guarantano earlier this spring, telling reporters that the game has “really slowed down” for the redshirt junior quarterback.

On Tuesday, Tennessee’s head coach added another layer of security to Guarantano’s status as the Vols’ starting quarterback by discussing the progressions of backup quarterbacks Brian Maurer (true freshman) and JT Shrout (redshirt freshman).

According to Pruitt, both players have a ways to go before they’re SEC caliber quarterbacks.

Both guys have good arms. They have pretty good athletic ability, they have to speed up, they have to take care of the football. Arm talent is not an issue, but if you’re throwing the ball late, it’s not a good thing. You have to know where to start in your progressions, you have to handle the offense, you have to get them in and out of the huddle. You have to be a good communicator and you have to be demanding. They both need to improve on that and they will

It sounds like the Vols will be in a precarious situation if something happens to Guarantano.

But fortunately for Tennessee, Guarantano is as tough as they come.

The Vols, however, need to do a better job of protecting the quarterback. Guarantano has been the recipient of numerous unnecessary hits during his first couple of years on Rocky Top. As a result, we really haven’t seen his true abilities as a quarterback.

What we do know, though, is that Guarantano is a player who takes care of the football (only five interceptions through his first 21 games) and showed vast improvement from his first to second year.

If Guaratano shows similar improvement in 2019, the Vols shouldn’t have any problem reaching a bowl game.

Tennessee just better hope they aren’t forced to turn to the bench if something happens to the New Jersey native.

Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

 

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