Shortly after Tennessee’s 34-13 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported that senior Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Have learned that Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano has entered the transfer portal
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) December 19, 2020
After Zenitz’s tweet, other sources began to confirm the news:
Can confirm Jarrett Guarantano has entered the transfer portal. His name popped up less than 10 minutes ago.
First reported by @mzenitz.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) December 19, 2020
Analysis: it was time, duh
Given the events in Tennessee’s QB room over the past few weeks, it would be a lie to say that many are surprised by this decision by Guarantano. It took longer than it should’ve, but Jeremy Pruitt finally decided to try and prepare for the future when Harrison Bailey got the start against Florida on Dec. 5.
Since then — with the exception of some random Brian Maurer moments — Tennessee’s quarterbacks have been Bailey and J.T. Shrout. Both had their issues, of course, but the play of each quarterback made it clear that either were a better option than Guarantano, especially after halftime of the Georgia game and beyond.
Now, in a regular year, this would have been Guarantano’s final season of eligibility anyway. But, this is 2020 and the NCAA decided that this season doesn’t count against player eligibility. Many have wondered if Guarantano might actually choose to return for his fifth season in Knoxville (sixth if you count the redshirt year of 2016).
Well, now we have our answer: JG is cranking up the Billy Joel because he’s Movin’ Out. For the sake of himself, the coaches and this fanbase, it is the right move.
Guarantano will leave Tennessee with the following stats in the school record books:
- 7th in all-time passing yards (6,174)
- 6th in all-time passing touchdowns (38)
- 6th in all-time completions (494)
- 41 games played
Without context, those are some damn impressive numbers. And it’s not to say that JG didn’t have great moments with the Vols. Upsets over ranked Auburn and Kentucky, multiple highlight passes and you cannot deny the role he played in helping Tennessee win eight straight games before everything went to shit.
However. the bad did outweigh the good, and it was simply time. No need to rehash specifics at this point. While we all had our fun, frustration and memes shared at the expense of the JG era, it was long overdue that it concluded.
Where will Guarantano spend his final year as a college quarterback? Most think it’s a no-brainer to go back home to Rutgers and be reunited with longtime family friend, Greg Schiano. Or, maybe he can find actual success as a starter for a Group of Five program? Who really knows? Oh God, what if he goes to Arkansas State to reunite with Butch? I’m sure Twitter will have no reaction to that at all.
Goodbye, Jersey’s Rose.