The Tennessee quarterback rotation has always been a roller coaster of emotions and decisions, but Monday seemed to end one era.
Jeremy Pruitt met with the media on Monday afternoon to review the Florida game and discuss the week of practice. After a few years behind center, it sounds like Jarrett Guarantano has taken his last premeditated snaps at Tennessee.
Pruitt said today that Harrison Bailey and JT Shrout would be taking a majority of the reps moving forward. This is a completely different take than Pruitt had on Saturday night, saying the reason Guarantano wasn’t ready for the game was because of his contact tracing. Pruitt wasn’t entertaining the notion that Guarantano would be getting any reps this week.
When asked how they would reintroduce Guarantano into the QB rotation, Jeremy Pruitt never mentioned him by name, which is a far cry from how Pruitt has spoken about Jarrett over the past few years. The vibe he put out was that we wouldn’t see Guarantano anymore.
“We’re gonna go with Harrison and JT and stick with the same schedule we had last week.”
This past Saturday, Harrison Bailey received the first start of his career. Bailey went 14-21 for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. He was later pulled in the 4th quarter, after four consecutive drives that ended in a punt. So, it wasn’t too shocking to see what unfolded next.
JT Shrout entered the game with around 11:00 minutes remaining and led his team to two 90+ yard touchdown drives. He capped off the 2nd drive with a beautiful pass to Velus Jones, making his tape look even better. To me, Shrout put down some great films that will help him if he decides to transfer after the season.
Jarrett Guarantano has played through multiple injuries, health problems and has dealt with the hatred that came his way. It was a never-ending story revolving around him, and I blame the head coach for the mess. It was never Guarantano’s fault that Pruitt continued to play him.
So, it’s official. This is now the Bailey & Shrout show. Jeremy Pruitt has put in his chips towards the future, and I wouldn’t expect him to look back.
But, time will tell if this decision came too late in the game.
It was never going to be a ride the sunset type situation for Jarrett. But, he gave everything he had for his teammates and took a beating in the process. So, the least you can do is thank him for his time and effort he put in trying to be better and lead these teams.
He deserves that.