By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
I caught-up, once again, with successful quarterbacks coach Tony Racioppi. He’s the longtime personal QB coach of Tennessee senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Racioppi has NFL, college and high school quarterback clients and works for Test Football Academy. He is an annual on-field coach at the Manning Passing Academy, one of only six coaches in that role. Racioppi was working with Guarantano this spring until the COVID-19 social distancing measures were put into place in New Jersey.
Below are a few videos of their work together.
Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano working Dovetail Last crossover gains control/balance on drop and also sets alignments to make straight, balanced throws. Back foot drops to middle so feet are aligned to make a rhythm throw to left. Balanced, rotational passer. @BroadwayJay2 #qb pic.twitter.com/ERcWK8u8VU
— Tony Racioppi (@Tonyrazz03) April 3, 2020
Univ of Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano working Play Action offering on 3rd step snapping around after stomaching football getting to a great base on Reset throwing Frontside 18yd Speed Cut Dig with Layer over 2nd level defenders. @BroadwayJay2 @Vol_Football #vols #qb pic.twitter.com/iuNBbAOq7h
— Tony Racioppi (@Tonyrazz03) March 19, 2020
Here are some quotes from our conversation about Guarantano, QB play, the Vols, the first round QBs for the NFL Draft and much more.
On if Guarantano discussed him transferring from Tennessee:
“Never. That was all speculation. Anytime I talked to him it was about being the best player for Tennessee he could possibly be, number one. Number two, listen, the more the merriier. Bring in ten guys. I’m a competitor and I’m going to go win the job and that’s kind of his mentality. That’s who he is. You can put the best players in the country in one room with him and he’ll go compete. That’s never come out of his mouth and I don’t think it ever would.”
On what his visit was like with Guarantano this offseason:
“Great as usual. He’s a hard worker. He’s a kid I’ve known for a long time. Last season, he felt like he didn’t do well enough from a fundamentals standpoint. That was kind of the biggest thing we worked on when he was up here was kind of staying a little bit more balanced and understanding that you don’t have to throw the ball as hard as possible on every single throw because he’s got elite arm strength. It’s understanding how to be a passer and that just comes with time.”
On a second year under the same offensive coordinator in Jim Chaney:
“It’s huge. It’s running the same stuff over and over again, within the way Coach Chaney wants it.”
On watching Guarantano go through the roller coaster 2019 season and how much they communicated:
“It was tough. We talked a bunch. I would say we talked two to three times a week. Just kind of talking him through the process. He’s a mentally tough kid. It didn’t turn out the way he wanted but he hung in there and he played his best football at the end of the year.”
On expectations of Guanrantano entering last season:
“We were expecting an SEC Player of the Year kind of thing. I’ll jump on any table and tell anybody that he’s one of the top players in America and one of the most talented kids in America. I’ve seen almost every one of them throw live at some point. He can do it.”
On 2020 season for Guarantano:
“I’m excited for him to come back this year and go win the job and have a great year.”
On LSU QB Joe Burrow:
“He’s a better athlete than people think. He can process information quickly. He’s an elite, movement guy, he can process and he doesn’t miss throws. He throws gorgeous deep balls.”
On if he’d draft Burrow #1 overall if he was the Cincinnati Bengals:
“I would. Being around him last summer (at the Manning Passing Academy,) he was actually on my field with Jarrett (Guarantano.) He has a chip on his shoulder, which all the elite guys do. There’s definitely a chip there in a good way.”
On Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa:
“I’m always weary of picking the guy on the best team. Oftentimes, when you drop back and your guy has seven yards of separation, that’s not really a hard throw at times. But, also I don’t want to knock him for it either. It’s not his fault. The injury thing is something I’d be worried about if I was speaking as a GM right now because he’s been hurt a lot. At the end of the day, he’s an elite athlete. What I go by is, people that know him rave about him. People that have either trained him in the past or his coaches or Nick Saban. When those guys rave about you, there’s something there.
There’s so much more to our visit that you can watch and listen to below. Revisit my blog feed in the Blog section for many more high profile, fun video interviews in the days to come.