Jeremy Pruitt decided to bench Jarrett Guarantano halfway through the Florida game this past Saturday. It was a surprising decision given the other quarterbacks on the roster, but at the same time, it felt like it was a necessary one.
True freshman Brian Maurer came in and led the Vols to their only points (a field goal), but was soon replaced by Guarantano once it was clear that Maurer wouldn’t be able to contribute anything else on offense.
Even though Pruitt brought Guarantano back into the game, the effect of Pruitt’s decision was clear: the relationship between Guarantano and the Vols is pretty much over unless something drastic changes with either Guarantano, the program, or both.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Guarantano on the roster in 2020.
The current circumstances have left the young man with a lot to think about over the coming months. Will he decide to gut it out and finish his career at Rocky Top? Or will he look for greener pastures in hopes that he can finally win some games in 2020?
The redshirt junior has one more year of eligibility left after this year. He graduated back in May, so he wouldn't have to sit out 2020 if he decided to leave the Vols to pursue another FBS opportunity.
It seems very likely that 2019 will be the last year with Guarantano on the roster. Not only do the Vols already have two quarterbacks on the roster that were recruited by the current coaching staff, but 4-star recruit Harrison Bailey will be in Knoxville — as long as things continue to go to plan with his recruiting process — sooner rather than later.
The NFL doesn’t seem likely at this point, either. Guarantano has shown major regression in 2019 and seemingly lacks the necessary skills to succeed in the pros. An inability to read a defense pre-snap and the fact that he can’t run through his progressions on the field are just a couple of the many deficiencies that currently surround Guarantano.
Regardless of what happens, hopefully the young man can find a spot — whether it’s UT or somewhere else — where he can find plenty of success and continue to move forward with his football career.