Vols Decide on Starting QB vs. South Carolina

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    Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI

    Tennessee will be turning to a different starting quarterback for the third time this season.

    Redshirt freshman JT Shrout will be getting the start at quarterback for the Vols as they take on South Carolina on Saturday afternoon in Knoxville. Shrout took the first team reps during warm-ups with the offensive line, and he’ll be making his first career start as a Vol.

    For Tennessee, this will mark their third different starter at quarterback this season. Redshirt junior Jarrett Guarantano started the first four games of the season before being replaced by true freshman Brian Maurer after Tennessee’s bye week. Maurer made his first career start when the Vols hosted Georgia in Neyland Stadium. Maurer has started the last three games for the Vols, but he’s been knocked out of each of those three games early.

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    Because of lingering issues from multiple hits to the head over the last two weeks, Maurer was declared “doubtful” for Saturday’s game against South Carolina by head coach Jeremy Pruitt. After Guarantano came into last Saturday’s game against No. 1 Alabama and made a disastrous play in the fourth quarter — coupled with poor execution throughout the contest — UT’s coaches elected to turn to Shrout to make the start against the Gamecocks.

    On the season, Shrout has appeared in two games. The redshirt freshman played in several series during the Vols’ victory over UT-Chattanooga in Week 3, and he appeared in one full series last weekend against Alabama. On the season, Shrout is 3-of-10 for 23 yards.

    This will mark the first time since 2017 and the fifth time ever that Tennessee has started two freshmen (true or redshirt) in the same season at quarterback. The Vols started two different freshmen signal callers in 2017, 2013, 2004, and 2000 previously.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.