KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has been knocked down plenty, literally and figuratively.
But the Vols redshirt sophomore continues to show the sort of resilience that coaches and fans can’t help but admire.
Guarantano, selected by the media as the MVP of the Orange and White Game, took to social media to send the message that his enthusiasm and good attitude are still intact.
I cannot wait for September 1st.
— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) May 5, 2018
Guarantano’s tweet sends the message that he’s ready to compete to play in Tennessee’s opening game even though Tennessee landed Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst.
It’s also a strong indication Guarantano has no plans to leave the Vols and go to a school where there might be an easier path to the field and weaker competition.
Chryst has four years of experience in a pro-style system and an 11-2 record as a starter, while Guarantano and fellow sophomore Will McBride were recruited as dual-threat quarterbacks to play in a modified spread attack.
Guarantano was only 1-5 as Tennessee’s starter last season, but that was behind a weak offensive line with receivers that struggled to get open.
Guarantano showed flashes of settling into the pro-style system under new coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton in the spring game, completing 15 of 27 passes for 226 yards with 2 TDs and no interceptions.
Coach Jeremy Pruitt, who earlier in the spring described Guarantano as “tough as nails,” seemed to downplay the performance.
“When you look at one day’s work out there, that’s not really a true indication of how spring actually went,” Pruitt said, asked about Guarantano’s performance.
“When there’s guys running open on both sides, when you got a good pocket, you got to step up in there and throw the ball and you got to catch the ball,” Pruitt said. “Some of that is throwing to the right people, getting an opportunity to throw it to the right people.”
Pruitt said Tennessee likely won’t know who its quarterback is until the fourth quarter of the opening game against West Virginia on Sept. 1.
Guarantano’s tweet indicates he believes he’ll get a chance to at least play in that game and compete for the position with game reps.
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