Nobody has emerged as a front-runner in Tennessee’s quarterback competition, coach Jeremy Pruitt said Sunday.
Incumbent starter Jarrett Guarantano is attempting to hold off challenges from Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst, sophomore Will McBride and freshman JT Shrout.
“If you look over all the practices, there’s really nobody (who’s) kind of separated himself yet,” Pruitt said after the Vols’ first preseason scrimmage.
Guarantano started six of Tennessee’s final seven games as a redshirt freshman last season and completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 997 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Chryst won 11 of his 13 career starts at Stanford but lost his job to K.J. Costello last season. Chryst completed 54.2 percent of his passes for 962 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions in 2017.
“Both of them have really done some good stuff, talking about J.G. and Keller,” Pruitt said. “Will McBride played today with our twos (second-team offense) a lot, and Will’s had a solid camp. JT Shrout, he may have the best arm out of all of them, but he’s got to learn what’s going on. He can spin it. He’s just got to figure it out.”
McBride completed 42.5 percent of his passes for 152 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions last season. He started one game for Tennessee in place of an injured Guarantano.
Tennessee opens the season Sept. 1 against West Virginia at Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vols are trying to bounce back from a season in which they went 4-8, set a school record for losses and went winless in Southeastern Conference competition.
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