Tennessee made a big splash on Tuesday night, bringing former Vol running back Jay Graham home. Jeremy Pruitt was able to wrestle Graham away from Texas A&M, where he was serving as the running backs coach for Jimbo Fisher.
On Thursday, Tennessee officially announced the hiring of Graham to be the running backs coach in Knoxville.
“I’m excited to welcome Jay Graham back to Tennessee,” Jeremy Pruitt said in a release. “He is one of the best assistant coaches in the country, and his track record for developing running backs speaks for itself, as you can see several of the young men he has coached playing on Sundays.
“He’s the total package as a coach with his experience playing in the NFL and his years coaching in the SEC and ACC. He has tremendous work ethic and an impressive ability to connect with young people. I was impressed by Jay from the start of our time working together and winning a national championship in 2013. He’s one of the best running backs ever to play at Tennessee, which I saw firsthand in the mid-90s. I’m thrilled to be working alongside him again and bringing him back to Rocky Top.”
Graham replaces David Johnson on the staff, who left for Florida State earlier this month. It’s his second stint at Tennessee as a coach, with his previous stop coming in 2012. As Pruitt mentioned, the two coaches were together in Tallahassee for the Seminoles’ title run in 2013.
Graham will inherit a talented and suddenly deep running back room, which could perhaps grow even more after national signing day. Eric Gray, Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan are each set to return, and Tennessee is hot on the trail of five-star running back Zachary Evans as well. That group running behind what should be a star-studded offensively line should be Tennessee’s bread and butter in 2020.