KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t waste time and action any more than he wastes words.
The Vols are going after a graduate transfer quarterback because Pruitt wants one, and he plans to get one this offseason.
Stanford graduate transfer QB Keller Chryst emerged as the favorite after his visit this weekend, but Tennessee has yet to learn if they are his favorite.
Pruitt was hired to win these sort of recruiting battles, and likewise for $1 million-plus offensive coordinator Ty Helton. Phillip Fulmer is so confident in Helton that he awarded the first-time Power 5 offensive coordinator a 3-year guaranteed contract.
East Carolina graduate transfer QB Gardner Minshew wouldn’t necessarily be a consolation prize if the Vols were to land him.
After all, Alabama showed interest in him, as it was also among the schools he deemed within driving distance to his home in Brandon, Miss.
Tennessee is moving from an uptempo spread offense attack to a pro style approach.
The biggest differences are the quarterback lining up under center more often, the installment of a power run game and more of a vertical pass game.
Tennessee football question of the day
Would you characterize the search for a graduate transfer QB as a depth issue or lack of confidence in personnel to run a pro style offense?
My answer is Tennessee is searching to add a graduate transfer quarterback for multiple reasons, most notably, the lack of experience at the position on the roster.
Jarrett Guarantano is a redshirt sophomore with a 1-5 record as a starter, and second-year sophomore Will McBride is 0-1 as a starter despite out-playing Missouri’s Drew Lock in the first half of a 50-17 defeat.
Guarantano and McBride were both classified as dual-threat quarterbacks in high school and were recruited to play in Butch Jones’ modified spread attack. They are the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster after senior Quinten Dormady announced his plans to transfer in January.
Pruitt and Helton flipped pro style 2018 signee JT Shrout from Cal to Tennessee after losing former Vols commit Adrian Martinez to Nebraska. Pruitt and Helton made a personal visit to see Martinez.
Pruitt has made it clear he’s not going to worry about the players Tennessee doesn’t get, so his laser focus is forward, and right now it’s on graduate transfer quarterbacks.
One thing for certain, the Vols don’t plan on having a quarterback controversy like the one that adversely effected the 2017 team.
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