After losing commitments from both quarterbacks who were committed in their 2018 recruiting class, the Vols have been looking for a quarterback for their class. And it appears as though Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have zeroed in on the quarterback they want most.
J.T. Shrout is a three-star quarterback out of Newhall, California who has been committed to Cal since June of this year. Tennessee’s new offensive coordinator, Tyson Helton, knew about him during his time at USC this year as the Trojans’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. And once Helton was brought on as part of Pruitt’s staff, he began targeting Shrout with the Vols.
And now according to a report from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Shrout is seriously considering flipping his commitment from Cal to Tennessee and will announce his decision this week.
Thamel wrote an article about the five things fans need to know about the new early signing period, and in it he mentions some signing day story lines to watch. His main story in that section highlights Shrout, and he states that J.T.’s father told Yahoo Sports that Shrout would be deciding between the Vols and Cal this week.
Thamel would go on to add some analysis of Shrout as a quarterback as well.
“Shrout was at the QB Collective Camp this summer, and his technical proficiency and throwing motion wowed the NFL coaches in attendance,” Thamel added. “What made Shrout most intriguing, however, was that he’d accepted a scholarship to California without playing a full high school game (He’d started one game as a sophomore and got hurt).”
Thamel wrote about Shrout back in July of this year, and his praise of the then-rising senior was nothing short of monumental.
According to Thamel and the scouts in attendance, Shrout was more impressive from a technical and fundamental standpoint than any other quarterback at the QB Collective Camp over the summer. And those quarterbacks included five-star Justin Fields, five-star 2019 quarterback J.T. Daniels, and potential elite 2020 quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei.
“I think of all the quarterbacks who were here, if I were an NFL general manager or quarterback coach, (he would be) the guy who could step in on day one and fundamentally work within an NFL system,” said Sage Rosenfels, a former NFL quarterback and current private quarterback coach, about Shrout. “His drop was smooth. His fundamentals were very efficient, and he throws a great ball.”
Shrout elected to go to Hart High School (where his father played) and attempt to unseat incumbent starting quarterback Nick Moore despite Moore having a vice grip on the position. Nick was the younger brother of current NFL quarterback Matt Moore. Shrout couldn’t beat him out as a freshman, but he stayed at the school and rode the bench rather than transfer elsewhere.
As a senior this season, Shrout threw for 3,064 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions while completing 51 percent of his passes.
Jim Shrout, J.T’s father, told Yahoo Sports that his son had an “outstanding visit” to Tennessee this past weekend. The Vols hosted a large number of recruits over the weekend, and Shrout was one of the many in attendance. Jim also said his son “would make a decision at some point this week, likely either Wednesday or Thursday” and that his son has “two great choices in front of him” this week.
“Let all the emotions calm down and make a rational decision,” Jim Shrout said he told his son. “Let’s get away from it for a day or two and let everything settle down and go over it.”
Shrout is listed as the No. 26 pro-style quarterback in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound quarterback holds offers from Cal, UNLV, Colorado State, Ball State, Hawaii, and others.