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Tennessee is recruiting Keller Chryst (above) and Gardner Minshew as grad-transfer options at quarterback.

The sales pitch from Tennessee to grad-transfer quarterbacks

SEC Country reporter Blake Morgan will candidly answer your Tennessee sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryVols, Tennessee Insiders Facebook page or by email to Blake at

Tennessee plans to host graduate-transfer quarterback Keller Chryst from Stanford this weekend, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman. The story also links the Vols with Gardner Minshew from East Carolina.

This further proves the Tennessee coaching staff isn’t comfortable going into next season with only two quarterbacks with game experience. Tennessee returns redshirt sophomore Jarrett Guarantano and sophomore Will McBride. Signee JT Shrout will arrive in the summer.

RELATED: Vols talking with 2 grad-transfer quarterbacks; 1 visiting this weekend

Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton wants to add another prospect to the mix.

The sales pitch to Minshew or Chryst is simple: a clear path to competing for playing time in the fall.

Minshew recently told SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner that Alabama was in the lead for him. That is his only offer now.

Guarantano and McBride have experience and showed flashes in 2017. Both showed they had warts in their games. Both are used to spread systems, too, and Helton wants a quarterback who knows how to run a pro-style offense.

Minshew was the starter at East Carolina heading into last season before wanting to transfer because of a “family emergency.” It only makes sense that he would want a shot at playing time this season. That likely won’t come at Alabama with Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa on the roster.

Tennessee’s coaches are singing a different tune.

“We’ve been talking a lot,” Minshew told Feldman. “They want me to compete for the job in the spring.”

Tennessee has mini-semesters, which would allow Minshew to enroll before spring practice begins in mid-March.

Chryst doesn’t graduate until June, which makes his situation trickier. That wouldn’t leave much time to learn the offense heading into the fall. It likely would make him more of an insurance option.

Chryst comes from Stanford’s pro-style offense, which might not be too different from the Vols’ new system. He could pick it up quickly.

The sales pitch is simple. Now the coaching staff has to land one of its options.

For answers to prior Tennessee Questions of the Day, click here.