It all feels a little similar, doesn’t it? For the second straight season, Tennessee will see a quarterback battle take place during training camp. We will be getting our first live look at Keller Chryst in Tyson Helton’s offense after getting extended looks at both Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride in the spring.
You can probably throw out what you think you know about Guarantano and McBride. Each saw some action in 2017 in Butch Jones’ offense, but each player was placed in a tough spot with a struggling and banged up offensive line in front of them. Everything has changed since then and both guys have already started on their new blank slates.
Guarantano separated himself from McBride during the spring, putting together a fairly solid outing in the orange and white game. The job will likely come down to Guarantano vs. the incoming Chryst, but new head coach Jeremy Pruitt insists that each of the four guys will get time with the first team. But that doesn’t mean the battle is going to drag out, either.
“I think for us, you know, it’s seeing what these other two new guys can do, along with seeing how our guys progress in fall camp,” Pruitt said at SEC Media Days. “It’s going to be important for us as a staff to start whittling it down pretty fast so we can kind of create some rhythm and timing and a little bit of chemistry on offense and figure out who our guys are going to be.”
Vegas has released odds that favor Chryst to be the starter in Charlotte, but Guarantano is certainly within striking distance.
One underrated aspect of camp will be getting to see what the Vols have in 2018 signee JT Shrout. It will be interesting to watch him work with the first team with everyone starting on near equal ground as each player learns the offense. We still don’t know a ton about Shrout, who flipped to Tennessee during the early signing period.
Shrout was a three-star prospect in the 2018 class, but he drew rave reviews on the camp circuit when he was up against some of the nation’s top talent. He remains an unknown to this point, but he’s got a chance to make a little noise in camp, assuming Pruitt sticks to his word.
Tennessee hits the practice field for the first time on Friday, August 3rd. The quarterback race will remain the main topic of conversation until a starter is named — maybe we’ll actually get that luxury this season.