As Tennessee’s football coaching search continues, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is a name who has gathered some buzz in the past few days, since Phillip Fulmer’s appointment as athletic director.
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Details of the potential deal with Pruitt were still being worked out as of Wednesday night, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and SI.com reported.
Pruitt and fellow defensive coordinators Kevin Steele of Auburn and Mel Tucker of Georgia were considered finalists for the job, which has been open since Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12.
Pruitt is in his second season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator after two years in the same position at Georgia. His first year as a defensive coordinator was in 2013 at Florida State. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense that season en route to a national championship. He was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant.
During Pruitt’s five seasons as a defensive coordinator, he’s never presided over a defense that ranked lower than 16th nationally in scoring defense. Alabama has ranked first nationally in scoring defense the past two seasons.
Nick Saban tapped Pruitt to be his coordinator after Georgia hired Kirby Smart off Saban’s staff in December 2015.
“There was no doubt who I was going to hire,” Saban said of Pruitt then, according to Al.com. “Didn’t interview anybody. Didn’t talk to anybody. Just hired the guy.”
“It was a no-brainer for me to bring Jeremy back,” Saban added. “He also did a great job of recruiting while he was here.”
Pruitt is in the midst of his third stint as an Alabama assistant. He was a graduate assistant for the Crimson Tide in 1997. He rejoined the staff in 2007, serving three seasons as Saban’s director of player development before working as his defensive backs coach for three seasons.
One question regarding Pruitt pertains to when he’d be able to start at UT, with Alabama in the College Football Playoffs.
Pruitt, 43, is under contract at Alabama through the 2019 season. He’s making $1.3 million…