Jarrett Guarantano, a four-star quarterback from Bergen Catholic (N.J.) High, committed to Tennessee on Wednesday in a ceremony at his high school coinciding with the release of a video announcement on Bleacher Report.
Guarantano, who garnered more than 40 scholarship offers, chose the Volunteers over finalists Ohio State and Rutgers. Rivals.com rates him the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and No. 91 overall recruit in the class of 2016.
The 6'4'', 196-pounder is renowned for his arm strength, accuracy and ability to make throws on the run. As a junior, Guarantano completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 1,030 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions while adding 258 yards and four scores on the ground despite missing part of the season with a wrist injury.
In landing Guarantano, Tennessee likely benefited from the multigenerational connection head coach Butch Jones has with Guarantano’s family. Jones worked as a graduate assistant at Rutgers from 1990 to ’92 while Guarantano’s dad, James, played wide receiver for the Scarlet Knights.
Guarantano is the only quarterback so far in the Volunteers’ 2016 recruiting class, which now holds seven commitments. Four-star quarterback Austin Kendall had been committed to Tennessee but renounced his pledge in March and committed to Oklahoma last week.
Guarantano hopes to enroll early at Tennessee. The Volunteers return rising junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who went 4-1 as a starter in 2014. He completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,206 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions in six games. He also recorded 469 rushing yards with eight scores.
Assuming Dobbs replicates his success in the future, he’ll likely hold the starting job for the next two years before creating an opening for Guarantano to compete for playing time as a potential redshirt freshman.
In addition to Dobbs, Tennessee will have three other scholarship quarterbacks on its roster this fall: true freshmen Jauan Jennings, Quinten Dormady and Sheriron Jones. All three were four-star recruits in Tennessee’s 2015 recruiting class, which ranked No. 5 in the nation.
Guarantano’s commitment continues a trend among the quarterbacks of the 2016 recruiting class of picking their schools early. With Guarantano off the board, four-star Dwayne Haskins Jr. is the only remaining passer in the Rivals100 who is uncommitted.