Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media during the Big Orange Caravan’s Memphis stop on Tuesday night. He provided an update on his team’s progress since the spring, where he was less than pleased with the effort shown in the Orange and White game. He’s taken a more positive stance since that day.
Pruitt broke his team up into three different segments on Tuesday. “We’ve got lots of different guys on our team,” the first year head coach said. “We’ve got guys that got to participate in all 15 days of spring practice. We gave them things that they needed to work on in the months of May, June and July to get prepared for fall camp.”
“We’ve got guys who got to participate some in spring due to injuries. These guys have got to get healthy, which most of them are now. So there’s probably not as much film or — we don’t have as much experience with these guys to give them things that they need to improve on. So there’s a little bit of unknown there.”
Darrin Kirkland Jr., Daniel Bituli, Chance Hall and a handful of others would fall into this category.
“And then we’ve got our guys that will be our signees that come in,” Pruitt said. “You never know how these guys are going to be once they get on campus. Obviously, they have talent or we wouldn’t have recruited them, but you know it’s the first time that they’ve been away from home.”
The coaching staff has already gotten a look at Greg Emerson, Jordan Allen, Ollie Lane, Kingston Harris, Jacob Warren, Jerome Carvin and Alontae Taylor. But adding in guys like J.J. Peterson, Brant Lawless, Jeremy Banks and Dominick Wood-Anderson will help the depth and talent level.
“So we’ve got a lot of moving parts, but somewhere in there we’ve got to become a team. We’ve got to find some guys who have influence and put them in leadership positions,” Pruitt said.
Those leadership positions are already being established. The tone is being set right now without the coaches staying on top of these guys. According to Pruitt, that voluntary work is happening and he sounds pleased with the current progress.
“I think right now our guys are working on their own,” Pruitt said. “Right now it’s discretionary, but we’ve got lots of guys on campus working on their own. I see guys in watching film. They’re taking the steps that we’ve asked them to and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”