Friday, 15 December, 2017

Tennessee fans react joyously after Jeremy Pruitt hire

Legendary Hoover coach Rush Propst on expected Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt: 'I think he's ready.' Tennessee Reportedly Set To Hire Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt, Ending Crazy Search
Spencer Simpson | 08 December, 2017, 01:06

Pruitt returned to the SEC in 2014 to be the Georgia defensive coordinator for two seasons before landing back in Alabama in 2016 and winning another championship. He replaces Butch Jones, who was sacked after going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in SEC play in five seasons in Knoxville.

Pruitt was officially announced as Tennessee's head coach on Thursday.

Rumph and Pruitt were on staff together from 2011-12 at Alabama.

Sources say the only question that remains is whether he will coach in Alabama's semifinal game against Clemson.

Fulmer reportedly met with Pruitt and other candidates over the past few days, and started to narrow his search while in NY for the College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where former UT great Peyton Manning was being honored. If Alabama wins, it will move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 8. Not only will Pruitt be attempting to guide Alabama's defensive unit to Playoff glory, his first big recruiting test with Tennessee is just around the corner, as the early signing period for high school prospects will begin on December 20. He left to become Florida State's defensive coordinator in 2013 and won a title in his one year with the Seminoles.

It's also worth noting that teams will have a tenth assistant beginning next year. Under Pruitt, Alabama ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense, No. 1 in yards per play and No. 2 in total defense in 2017. He played at Alabama from 2008-12 (which means Pruitt coached him). The Crimson Tide has suffered significant losses to several key defenders including four to the linebacking unit alone. And now it appears that Pruitt is pursuing another Colorado State coach, and this coach is also a former Vol player and assistant.

One of the primary attributes that attracted Tennessee to Jeremy Pruitt was his ability to recruit. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year. He now serves as the Bulldogs' linebackers coach. Alabama has led the nation in sacks the past two seasons with 54 in 2016 and 52 in 2015. He initially coached in Tuscaloosa from 2007 to 2012, the final three seasons as defensive backs coach. He then joined Alabama's staff as a defensive analyst for a season before taking over the outside linebackers. McClendon was on staff with Pruitt at Georgia. Prior, he had turned around the defense at Georgia under Mark Richt. As an assistant coach, he has been a part of four national championship teams.

Like Lupoi, Sherrer is viewed as one of the best recruiters in the SEC. However, the search for a new coach had been so unsuccessful that it was even jokingly rumored North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un even turned down the job. Fulmer took over for John Currie, who was suspended just eight months into the job as Tennessee investigates whether it can fire him for cause.

Tennessee has ended the most tortured football coaching search imaginable and hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, according to reports. Pruitt was a 2013 finalist for the Broyles Award.

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