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Jeremy Pruitt explains Joe Osovet, Brian Niedermeyer coaching position changes

A shakeup.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Chattanooga at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week it was reported that Jeremy Pruitt would fill his open on-field positions internally. Today, that became official.

Tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer will move to the inside linebackers, replacing Kevin Sherrer. Support staffer Joe Osovet will fill Niedermeyer’s role, now coaching the tight ends.

“I’m excited to announce Joe Osovet as our new tight ends coach,” Jeremy Pruitt said on Wednesday. “Joe’s track record as an outstanding college coach and a top offensive mind speaks for itself. He’s been successful at every stop he has been, and he’s done a tremendous job behind the scenes here at Tennessee over the last two years. He’s ready to be an on-field coach and eager to get to work. He’s an excellent relationship builder and I believe he will do a great job in our tight end room.”

‘RPO Joe’ has truly grinded for this chance, going the JUCO route, to offensive analyst and now to a position coach. He’s assisted Tennessee in recruiting efforts in the northeast, coming from a New York background. He’s a truly unique piece on this coaching staff, which is otherwise filled with traditional SEC guys.

As for Niedermeyer, this was a move that had been talked about for a few years. Pruitt mentioned back in 2018 that Niedermeyer could coach anywhere on the field, now he’ll get a chance to prove that.

“When I first got hired at Tennessee I knew Brian was a guy that was going to be a coach on my first staff,” Pruitt said. “I didn’t know what position he was going to coach, but I knew he was a rising star in the profession and a guy that knows ball. Like a lot of the guys on our staff, Brian could coach any position – offense or defense. He started out working with linebackers for me as a graduate assistant at Georgia and did the same for me at Alabama. He’s a great motivator and a very detail-oriented, fundamental coach.”

Niedermeyer’s primary impact has come on the recruiting side, helping land guys like Henry To’o To’o and Darnell Wright last season. He’ll now be tasked with replacing Daniel Bituli in the teeth of the Tennessee defense, likely leaning on young guys like To’o To’o and freshmen Bryson Eason, Martavius French and Len’Neth Whitehead.