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Vols go with the unknown by hiring Jeremy Pruitt

08 December 2017

Reports on Wednesday night claimed that Tennessee is in the process of finalizing a deal to make current Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt its new head coach.

According to Football Scoop, Pruitt has had discussions with former Vol and current Colorado State cornerbacks coach Terry Fair about joining his staff at Tennessee.

Another name being discussed is Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer who coached alongside Pruitt at Georgia.

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With Georgia in 2014, Pruitt's defense ranked sixth in the SEC at 337.2 total yards per game. He will also continue to coach the Crimson Tide defense in the College Football Playoff.

Pruitt's biggest strengths are likely to be critical to his success at Tennessee. He worked an initial stint on Alabama's staff from 2007-12, when he helped the Crimson Tide win national titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Pruitt has won two national championships during his 11-year collegiate coaching career with Florida State in 2013 and Alabama in 2016.

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Then Tennessee turned to Washington State head football coach Mike Leach, who reportedly had a great meeting with then Tennessee athletic director John Currie, the deal was blown off as Currie was removed from his position and Phil Fulmer took over the athletic director position as well as the football coaching search on December 1.

If the third matchup between Clemson and Alabama wasn't exciting enough, it will be very interesting to see if Pruitt's pending departure becomes another example of why coaches should stay loyal to their players through the very end of the season or turns into another distraction for Alabama.

The search also led to former athletics director John Currie's ouster, which came not too long after it was believed he was set to hire Washington State head coach Mike Leach.

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At Alabama, Pruitt had an annual salary of $1.3 million in 2017. It closed the year with a 42-24 loss to Vanderbilt, the fourth time in the last six years the Vols lost to the in-state rival they've historically dominated. Pruitt was a 2013 finalist for the Broyles Award.

Vols go with the unknown by hiring Jeremy Pruitt