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Jeremy Pruitt explains how he recruits through the losses

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Honesty.

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Pruitt is in year one of rebuilding Tennessee. He’s inherited a team that hit an all time low last season, bottoming out with a 4-8 record which featured an 0-8 mark in SEC play. Nobody said it would be easy, in fact most said it would be rough early on.

Through all of that, Pruitt has assembled the 12th ranked recruiting class in the country so far in the 2019 cycle. But a legitimate question remains — how will he hold this class together during what looks to be another bleak year?

For Pruitt, it’s all about honesty. He’s been honest from day one and that isn’t changing now. Check out his response to a question on Vol Calls last night. One caller asked what his strategy was on the recruiting trail coming off of a big loss, especially considering what a big visitor weekend it was for the Vols.

That might be hard to hear if you’re currently on the roster, but it’s probably the truth.

Honesty is refreshing around here, considering what the last staff threw at us time and time again. Everyone knows that this is going to be a process. He’s not dogging his current team, he’s just acknowledging that this will probably be the low point and selling the future of the program. Considering the level of talent on this roster right now, Pruitt is likely capitalizing on the opportunity to sell early playing time as well.

The statement itself was brutally honest, but that’s who Pruitt is. He’s not going to sugarcoat things and tell people his team is great when they clearly are not. That honesty and realness has been a plus for him since he arrived in Knoxville with several prospects noting that about him.

Clearly, something is working. At least on the trail, that is. This rebuild job is bigger than most thought, which is saying something. But assuming Pruitt can keep most of this 2019 group together, he’s going to have a decent foundation to build off of going forward.