KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano knew he was going to play last season, but the redshirt freshman is taking a different approach to the upcoming season.
In fact, he’s already envisioning himself being the starting quarterback when the Vols take the field on Sept. 4 against Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I was watching a Georgia Tech game last week, and I was thinking wow, I have a lot of family in Georgia, my parents and my sister just recently moved down, so they are 10 minutes away,” Guarantano said on the Vols’ National Signing Day special that was live streamed on UTsports.com.
“I’m going to have the opportunity to have my first game right in front of my family and have people come down. I’ve thought about it, and I can’t wait, I’m so excited.”
Tennessee has a quarterback duel on its hands, with both Quinten Dormady and Guarantano expressing confidence they can win the job and lead the Vols this season.
Dormady spoke earlier on Wednesday about being a team leader, while Guarantano discussed how he has matured and learned to manage his time.
“Coming into this year it’s a lot different, definitely going into more film, more (of) what can I do with my footwork, trying to get better each and every day,” Guarantano said, “and knowing that if I get the chance to play, if I have the chance to start, that I’m going to take that chance and run away with it as much as possible.
“I’m very excited, I can’t wait for spring ball, and I know it’s going to be a great competition.”
Guarantano said becoming a student athlete at Tennessee was more challenging than he expected, when he was among the signees just one year ago.
“I didn’t know classes were that hard, it’s all about time management, football takes up most of the day, and then you have homework and then you have to worry about what’s next,” Guarantano said.
“Everybody has a workout, everybody has to do something, then quarterbacks have to take their time out and watch film for an hour, and along with school work,” he said. “We have tutors and homework, there’s not really much free time, so it’s getting the most out of each day.”