Jeremy Pruitt to be named Tennessee head coach

Jeremy Pruitt to be named Tennessee head coach

Sources tell WBIR, Tennessee is finalizing a deal to make Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt its next head football coach.

The selection of Pruitt ends a coaching search that had become embarrassing for Tennessee as it dragged on. ESPN's Chris Low reported, however, that Sherrer is a name to watch for on Pruitt's prospective staff at Tennessee.

With Georgia in 2014, Pruitt's defense ranked sixth in the SEC at 337.2 total yards per game.

Pruitt was the defensive coordinator at Hoover High School in Alabama, before joining Nick Saban's staff as the director of player personnel from 2007-2009. He will also continue to coach the Crimson Tide defense in the College Football Playoff. Alabama shut out Michigan State, 38-0, in the semifinals, and although Smart's defense allowed 40 points to Clemson in the title game, the Crimson Tide won, 45-40, behind a strong offensive performance.

During Pruitt's time as an assistant coach, he's been part of three championship teams (Florida State in 2013, Alabama in 2011-12).

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Pruitt's biggest strengths are likely to be critical to his success at Tennessee.

"Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria", Fulmer said in a statement released on Thursday. Before that he served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2014-15 and at Florida State in 2013.

At Alabama, Pruitt had an annual salary of $1.3 million in 2017. Currie also flirted with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and N.C. State's Dave Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach before being replaced by Fulmer.

Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on November 26 before that deal fell through amid a public backlash. This marks Tennessee's fourth coaching search since Fulmer was forced out in 2008.

We've seen these kind of hires work out greatly for some, including defending national champion Clemson with Dabo Swinney, but fail other times. He was also a Broyles Award finalist in 2016.

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