Vols go with the unknown by hiring Jeremy Pruitt

Tricia Pearson
December 8, 2017

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will become the next head coach at Tennessee, according to multiple reports. Copeland wasn't even on the radar of the previous Tennessee staff, but as soon as it was announced Pruitt had landed the job, things changed in a hurry for the top-ranked receiver from the Sunshine State. This marks Tennessee's fourth coaching search since Fulmer was forced out in 2008.

Tennessee is expected to formally introduce Pruitt, who will earn roughly $4 million annually, as their head football coach later today.

Alabama topped the nation in run defense last season and ranks third in that category this year. The Crimson Tide are back in the College Football Playoff this year too. 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's success this season is particularly impressive given how hard Alabama's defense has been hit by injuries. If Alabama wins, it will move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 8. That would be his only season at Florida State as he was hired by Richt the following offseason. Those teams are 130-21 overall (73-15 in conference).

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One of the primary attributes that attracted Tennessee to Jeremy Pruitt was his ability to recruit. Elite Pruitt recruits who have found success in the National Football League include Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Eight years of his career have been spent with the Tide (2007-12, 2016-17), while he spent that one with Florida State and two at Georgia.

His first job was a P.E. teacher for kindergarten through second graders.

Pruitt and his wife, Casey, have two sons, Ridge and Jayse.

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