Tennessee will have all three of their quarterbacks ready to play against UAB this weekend, head coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed on Wednesday night.
Jarrett Guarantano will return just a week after leaving the game against South Carolina. He’s been seen with a cast on his non-throwing hand at practice this week.
Freshman Brian Maurer has been cleared after suffering back to back concussions against Mississippi State and Alabama. Maurer missed the game against South Carolina last weekend, but Tennessee still rolled, winning 41-21.
So what’s the plan at quarterback with all three players available? That’s to be determined — of course he’s not going to give Bill Clark and UAB that information if he doesn’t have to.
Pruitt: Maurer and Guarantano have been cleared to play. They're all ready to go. How we play them, we haven't decided. We've still got a couple more practices to see.— GoVols247 (@GoVols247) October 30, 2019
Maurer started three games out of the open date against Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama. Guarantano entered in relief against Alabama and Mississippi State, struggling against the Crimson Tide, but playing well against the Bulldogs. Last week against South Carolina, Guarantano looked like a completely different player, attacking down the field and getting through his reads quickly and efficiently.
Then you’ve got redshirt freshman JT Shrout, who came in and delivered against the Gamecocks in the second half. It suddenly feels like Tennessee has three legitimate options to turn to at quarterback if need be, though we’ve got a small sample size with Shrout.
If he’s healthy though, it seems like you would have to give Brian Maurer a chance to build on what he started after the open date.
Tennessee is now at 12 point favorite this weekend against UAB. They’ll kickoff against the Blazers at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.