KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jarrett Guarantano comes by his leadership naturally.
Thus, Tennessee’s redshirt freshman quarterback has no problem handling the media.
Junior quarterback Quinten Dormady is the favorite to win the starting job, based on how the players performed in spring drills.
But where Dormady struggles to express himself in the media, Guarantano is a natural in the spotlight.
“I think I was groomed to be a leader,” Guarantano said after the Vols’ opening fall practice on Saturday. “Even when I’m not in the game or in the locker room, I’m able to connect with certain guys and get to know them.”
Tennessee coach Butch Jones has said he’s willing to play two quarterbacks if both players earn time. Junior Quinten Dormady appears to have the upper-hand, but Guarantano made it clear he’s still working every day to be No. 1.
“There’s nothing I want more than being the starting quarterback at Tennessee,” Guarantano said, as open and honest as the day he arrived on campus from New Jersey in May of 2016.
Asked about the Vols’ receivers group after the opening practice on Saturday, Guarantano provided keen insight.
“Latrell Williams is someone that has come on, (and) Josh Smith just came back and he had a great practice today,” Guarantano said. “Brandon Johnson is able to create separation from the outside, Marquez (Callaway) is able to go up and get it.
“Jeff George you already know is 6-6 and Jauan (Jennings) is Jauan, and the freshmen that just came in are working their tails off.”
Tennessee’s incoming freshmen receivers include:
• Josh Palmer, 6-foot-2, 198 pounds
• Jordan Murphy, 5-11, 170
• Princeton Fant, 6-3, 216
• Jacquez Jones, 5-10, 165
• LaTrell Bumphus, 6-3, 258