Tennessee’s quarterback competition is one of the more intriguing battles taking place this offseason in the SEC. Last season, junior Quinten Dormady served as Joshua Dobbs’ backup, Jarrett Guarantano redshirted while Sheriron Jones was third string on the depth chart but may have been the unit’s best overall leader.
Until Tennessee kicks off its spring practice March 21, all the discussion surrounding the quarterback competition on Rocky Top is pure speculation. Be that as it may, if you weigh the words of famed quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. — most known for coaching Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston, and Andrew Luck, among others — Guarantano may be the only choice to make.
Leading up to the start of Tennessee’s spring practice, Guarantano decided to spend his spring break in San Diego to work with Whitfield. According to Austin Price of Volquest, Whitfield envisions an incredibly bright future for the young Tennessee quarterback.
“One of the biggest arms in college football,” Whitfield said. “I don’t think people really understand and they won’t know what is coming when they see it this fall.
“He is the prototype of what you want going into the SEC. With all that legendary strength and quickness and how all of those defenders shrink the field, you need someone who can equal that out and he is that in spades. You will have to guard the depth and width of the field against the Vols going forward.”
Whitfield’s comments are similar to those made by Trent Dilfer, head of the Elite 11 and former NFL quarterback, during Guarantano’s recruitment.
“He’s almost too talented,” Dilfer said, via FOX Sports. “Essentially, Guarantano can make every throw in the book — and do so with unmatched speed and power… He’s got everything you could ever want.”
Considering the Tennessee staff has undergone so much overhaul on the offensive side of the ball, the Vols have a new offensive coordinator in place in addition to new assistants coaching the offensive line, the receivers, and the quarterbacks, it would be a surprise if the offense kicks into high gear this spring. Given that logic, it will be tough for any quarterback to truly separate himself exiting the spring on Rocky Top.
If Guarantano does manage to continue to progress and soak up all the spring coaching he will be receiving and manages to utilize that knowledge and experience into the summer, should he scratch the surface of his massive talent come fall camp, it will be hard to see Tennessee naming any quarterback the starter over the New Jersey native.
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