Jarrett Guarantano had one of the most up and down seasons I’ve witnessed in recent history. At the beginning of the year it looked like he was in way over his head. Through the first 5 games (1-4), Guarantano was 61/98 for 750 yards with 7 TDs and 4 INTs. By the end of the year, he displayed at least some consistency and was a big part of a couple Vol wins. Through the last last 6 regular season games (5-1), JG was 67/111 for 1,067 yards with 7 TDs and only 1 INT. While the numbers weren’t eye-popping, he was a different QB.
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Despite his improvements, some Vols fans were certain he would take a back seat to 4-star 2020 QB Harrison Bailey.
Fortunately for JG, head coach Jeremy Pruitt is not as biased as some fans. Pruitt spoke on the QB battle with 247 Sports earlier this month.
“We’ve got good competition,” Pruitt said, “because we’ve got to figure out who our first quarterback is, who our second quarterback is, who our third quarterback is, and they’ll get a chance to do that throughout the spring. I think that’s every position, right? In this business, you’re only as good as your last game, whether you’re a coach, whether you’re a player. There always needs to be competition so everybody will be at their best.”
What I get from this is that Pruitt believes its a level playing field. It doesn’t look like he Guarantano’s past (good or bad) will hold much much weight.
Do I think JG is a lock for the starter? Absolutely not. However, given his “clean slate” and experience, he has a leg up on Bailey. Especially considering Bailey is losing valuable practice time with the shut down. So, there is hope for Jarret Guarantano.