Tennessee (Reportedly) Finally Has a New Coach: Alabama Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt

Calvin Mattheis  AP	

	Phillip Fulmer and chancellor Beverly Davenport

Calvin Mattheis AP Phillip Fulmer and chancellor Beverly Davenport

Our partners at GoVols247 are reporting that Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer is meeting with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on Wednesday.

If Pruitt is introduced as the next Vols coach on Thursday, the next thing to keep an eye on is whether Saban will want him around through the College Football Playoff hunt. Those options all fell through for various reasons before Currie was sacked and replaced by former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer as athletic director.

Jimmy Hyams of Sports Radio WNML reported Pruitt "accepted the job", while Chris Low of ESPN.com reported Tennessee was "in the process of trying to finalize a deal".

Athletic director Phil Fulmer interviewed two other SEC defensive coordinators - Auburn's Kevin Steele and Georgia's Mel Tucker - but, per Low, told both he planned to go in another direction.

Pruitt replaced Georgia coach Kirby Smart as Alabama's defensive coordinator in 2016. He was Alabama's defensive backs coach from 2010-12 when the Crimson Tide won two national national titles.

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Pruitt's first coordinator job came at Florida State in 2013.

Saban is the best coach in college football, and even he relies on the deepest pool of assistant coaches in the country. He has yet to be a head coach at the college level, so there's obviously the question as to whether he can succeed in the role. "There ain't no holding back".

The 43-year-old Pruitt has twice been a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to Division I-FBS' top assistant coach, and has spent many years under Nick Saban at Alabama.

There was no early signing period at that time and the program Smart was inheriting from Mark Richt was on much more stable footings than what the next Vols' head coach will take over.

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