KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt famously said he will “know who our quarterback is probably when we go to Charlotte about halfway through the fourth quarter.”
Pruitt is about as direct and straight to the point as it gets, but his quarterback comment does allow for some speculation.
Will his decision come in the fourth quarter of the West Virginia game in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 1 because he plans to play more than one?
Have both Jarrett Guarantano and Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst been told they will both have an opportunity to play in the opener?
Or has Guarantano been told he’ll get the first start, and he’ll have the opportunity to hold the job so long as Tennessee is beating the Mountaineers, hence the “fourth quarter” reference?
More than likely, Pruitt hasn’t told anyone anything about their playing time, and his fourth quarter remark merely means by then he’ll know if the player who wins the job in camp can perform under the bright lights.
This much we do know: The quarterback competition is underway in offseason workouts, and Tennessee players will have their own opinions on who the best player is to lead the offense.
Pruitt made it clear all four quarterbacks — Guarantano, Chryst, Will McBride and freshman JT Shrout — will get reps.
“We’ll have four guys, we practice four groups, and those guys all get the same amount of reps and we’ll see how they develop over the summer and into fall camp,” Pruitt said in May in Kingsport, Tenn., at the final Big Orange Caravan stop of the 2018 tour.
“As we get closer to the times we scrimmage — we’ll scrimmage on the ninth [fall period] practice — we’ll chart things from Day 1 until that scrimmage and that will give us an idea about how they are going to scrimmage.”