After 25 days, the search for a new Tennessee head coach may be over. Jeremy Pruitt is expected to be named the next head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, according to an ESPN report.
Sources tell ESPN that Tennessee is in the process of trying to finalize a deal with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt after offering him the job earlier in the day. Vols also interviewed Auburn DC Kevin Steele and Georgia DC Mel Tucker.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) December 7, 2017
Vols are expected to name Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as their new coach tomorrow, barring an unexpected setback https://t.co/zvuSfR8Kxm— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 7, 2017
Volquest.com confirms that Tennessee has chose
Per @Brent_Hubbs, Tennessee has offered the HC position to Jeremy Pruitt and told the other finalists — Mel Tucker & Kevin Steele — about the decision.— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) December 7, 2017
As does Feldman.
SOURCES: #Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt is expected to become the next head coach at #Tennessee. A deal could be announced as early as tomorrow.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 7, 2017
Pruitt just finished up his second regular season as the defensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Pruitt’s SEC recruiting ties are deep, having been an assistant in the south for the past decade. He’s regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation.
At 43 years old, Pruitt was the youngest of the three reported finalists. With his ability on the trail, he might just offer the most upside of the three.
One thing to monitor here will be the transition from Alabama to Tennessee. Alabama is slated to play Clemson on New Year’s Day in the College Football Playoff. Will he coach that game? How will he balance recruiting for Tennessee while coaching for a rival?
We will keep you posted on that as details emerge, but keep this in mind. The dead period for recruiting starts on December 18th and goes through January 11th. The new early signing period opens December 20th and closes on the 22nd. Pruitt could realistically handle both duties. We’ll see if he does.
Pruitt played defensive back for MTSU and Alabama in the mid 90s. He took a graduate assistant role with Alabama in 1997, before hitting the Alabama high school coaching scene. After climbing those ranks and ending up at famed Hoover High as a defensive coordinator, Pruitt jumped back to Tuscaloosa as Alabama’s director of player development in 2007.
Pruitt held that position until 2010, when he was promoted to defensive backs coach for Alabama. He would move on to Florida State in 2013, getting his first defensive coordinator job. The Seminoles just happened to win a national title that year.
He jumped back into the SEC in 2014, running Mark Richt’s defense at Georgia. He held that position for two seasons, until Richt was fired. Of course, Kirby Smart took the Georgia job, opening up the Alabama defensive coordinator position for Pruitt.
Pruitt just finished up his second season as the Alabama defensive coordinator.
- Pruitt has been a part of three national championships as an assistant coach, one as a defensive coordinator (2013 at Florida State).
- He’s credited with landing players like Derrick Henry, Jalen Ramsey, C.J. Mosley, Lorenzo Carter, Reggie Ragland, among others.
- Pruitt was named the 2012 recruiter of the year by 247 Sports.
- Total defense rank as a coordinator:
2013 Florida State: 3rd
2014-2015 Georgia: 18th, 8th
2016-2017 Alabama: 1st, 2nd
- One of Pruitt’s top targets at Alabama was former Tennessee commit Jaycee Horn. You would have to think he would have a leg up on Horn being in Knoxville.
- You may remember Pruitt from the MTV hit show ‘Two a Days.’
Would you approve of a Jeremy Pruitt hire?
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