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Report: Tennessee, Jeremy Pruitt ‘moved foward’ in contract talks

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Could Pruitt be the answer?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Media Day John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Today has turned out to be an agonizingly slow day on the coaching search front for Tennessee. After meeting with three reported finalists, there was some hope that a deal would come together today. That hasn’t happened.

We did get another update from John Brice, who has been fantastic through this search. The name that has generated the most chatter today without doubt has been Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

Brice reports that Tennessee has talked to Pruitt about a potential deal.

Per sources with direct knowledge, UT moved forward in talks with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to the point that both potential salary and projected coaching staff assignments entered into the discussions.

But....

Brice also reports that Tennessee reps flew back to Knoxville and Pruitt hit the trail for Alabama once again.

Pruitt did not fly back from New York with the Tennessee entourage per multiple sources; instead, the relentless and multi-time national recruiter of the year departed to continue his recruiting efforts for the Tide.

Brice notes that conversations have occurred regarding Pruitt’s status with Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Would Pruitt be able to handle recruiting for Tennessee along with prepping for Clemson in the Sugar Bowl?

It would present an odd situation between bitter rivals, but if Fulmer believes he’s the man for the job, it would seem like a pretty small detail to get hung up on, big picture wise. For what it’s worth, the exact same scenario played out when Kirby took the Georgia job two years ago, but the early signing period wasn’t a factor in the equation.

Mel Tucker and Kevin Steele both remain in the mix, per Brice. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a resolution on Thursday before a key recruiting weekend.