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Jeremy Pruitt talks recruiting and how it’s different for him as a head coach

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He doesn’t like this part of the job.

NCAA Football: Jeremy Pruitt Tennessee Head Coach Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Jeremy Pruitt’s days as Alabama’s defensive coordinator are behind him. He coached the Crimson Tide defense to a comeback win over the Georgia Bulldogs earlier this week in Atlanta. With that done, he’s now back in Knoxville hard at work trying to restore this football program.

As the dead period ends, it’s time to attack the recruiting trail. Tennessee has plenty of ground to cover before national signing day next month. But Pruitt and his staff have been hammering away for a little over a month now, reviving a class that fell apart after the 2017 season crumbled.

In his first media availability since his introduction press conference, he shared a story of adjusting to his new role as the head coach. As Pruitt planned his attack in December, it took his new offensive coordinator to help him realize something.

“I guess the first day that we could go out, I’m sitting here planning my recruiting for the week. Every where I want to go this week. We got done, coach Helton kind of looked at me. He goes, you do realize you’re the head football coach now? I just kind of looked at him. He goes, you only get one time Jeremy.”

“I’m used to going to everybody one time a week. As the head football coach you get one time a year. That part I don’t really like. I kind of liked going to see them once a week.”

Pruitt was widely regarded as one of Alabama’s top recruiters for Nick Saban. I’m sure it’s a little strange for him to have to hand over control to his assistants, just as Nick did with him.

Clearly, the assistants have been doing their jobs on the trail. After seeing the class dip out of the top 50 in most recruiting rankings, Tennessee has surged back inside of the top 20, according to the main outlets.

With a couple more big hits on the trail, it’s not crazy to think that Tennessee could finish with a top ten class.