Former Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst announced that he is transferring to the University of Tennessee. The current senior will be eligible next season after graduating from Stanford in June.
Chryst started 13 games total for the Cardinal in the past two seasons. He replaced senior Ryan Burns midway through the 2016 season, throwing for 905 yards and 10 touchdowns against two interceptions. Chryst was undefeated as a starter in his junior season, leading Stanford to a 6-0 finish, including a win over North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.
This year, Chryst started the first four games before suffering an injury against UCLA on Sept. 23. That opened the door for sophomore KJ Costello, who led Stanford to a win against UCLA and then won his first start the next week against Arizona State. Though Chryst did start the next three games afterwards, Costello also received playing time and went on to officially replace Chryst as the starter on Nov. 4 against Washington State.
Chryst went 5-2 as a starter this year, including a dramatic comeback victory in his final game against Oregon State where he led the game-winning drive and threw the go-ahead touchdown to JJ Arcega-Whiteside with 20 seconds left. He passed for 962 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions as a senior. In his Stanford career, Chryst had 1962 yards and 18 touchdowns, accumulating an 11-2 record as a starter.
The future Stanford graduate will be playing outside of California for the first time since his freshman year of high school. Chryst attended Palo Alto High School for the final three years of his prep career. He was a four-star recruit and considered the nation’s number three overall pro-style quarterback according to ESPN, who also ranked Chryst as the third-best recruit from California.
Chryst will have an opportunity to start right away at Tennessee, as he will compete for the job with sophomore Jarrett Guarantano, the incumbent starter. However, the Vols will be under new leadership this season. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is entering his first season in Knoxville after replacing Butch Jones, who was fired after a 4-8 record last year.
Although Costello is firmly entrenched as Stanford’s starter, Chryst’s departure will create some holes in the Stanford roster for spring practice. Head coach David Shaw announced this week that Costello will miss the entirety of spring ball with a hip injury. Since freshman Davis Mills will also miss spring practice as he continues to recover from a knee injury, sophomore Jack Richardson will be the only quarterback available. Still, Stanford will press on in preparation for the 2018 season without their top three quarterbacks from last year.
Contact King Jemison at kingj ‘at’ stanford.edu.