By Josh Ward
Former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs can relate to the position Jarrett Guarantano is in right now.
Dobbs played quarterback at Tennessee from 2013-16 and had to learn on the fly during his first two seasons in Knoxville. Dobbs had planned to redshirt in 2013 and again in 2014 but was forced into action both seasons because of injuries suffered by other quarterbacks.
Guarantano’s situation is slightly different; he was able to redshirt last year and was handed the starting job earlier this season due partially to ineffective play by Quinten Dormady. But like Dobbs early in his career, Guarantano is learning while playing.
Dobbs said on Sports 180 on Thursday that he’s remained in contact with Guarantano and has offered his former teammate some advice. Here’s what Dobbs said he’s passed along to Guarantano:
“My advice to him is to take advantage of the opportunity, to learn from each mistake. It’s your first time; you’re a freshman; you are going to make mistakes when you’re out on the field. The mark of a good player is the guy that doesn’t make that mistake twice. Make a mistake, learn from it and just be ready to go out and attack the next play. Each play is a learning opportunity, and if you do that you’ll be able to continue to grow and improve this year and then throughout your entire career at Tennessee.”
Dobbs is optimistic about the potential of Guarantano, who signed with Tennessee in the 2016 class as the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback, according to Rivals.
Guarantano – along with many of his teammates on offense – has struggled at times this season. He’s thrown for 473 yards on 81 pass attempts and has only one touchdown pass, which occurred in Tennessee’s 42-7 win against Indiana State on Sept. 9.
Guarantano has also shown signs of improvement since he made his college debut against Indiana State.
“I know he has a bright future,” Dobbs said. “I’ve been excited just watching him play and seeing his potential and so I’ll get a chance to sit down with him some more this weekend.
“But he definitely has a bright future. He’ll be exciting to watch over the next couple years.”
Listen below to hear more of what Dobbs had to say about Tennessee’s season as well as his rookie year in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dobbs will be on UT’s campus on Saturday signing autographs at the Vol Shop in the Student Union from 4-5:30. He provides more information in the interview.