The search for a new head coach for the Vols may be over.
Per sources with direct knowledge, UT moved forward in talks with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to the point that both potential salary and projected coaching staff assignments entered into the discussions. He had that position for two seasons after serving as Florida State's defensive coordinator during the Seminoles' national championship season in 2013.
He was previously in the running for the Mississippi State coaching vacancy that was filled by former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. He also held the same position at Georgia from 2014-15 before moving on to the Crimson Tide. This year, Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense and yards per play.
It's looking more and more like Tennessee may finally have their head coach.
Pruitt?also is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the SEC.
He named his son, born in May, after former Alabama linebackers Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
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.
The son of legendary high school coach Dale Pruitt, Pruitt was an assistant coach in the high school ranks before catching on with Alabama in 2007 as Saban's director of player development. He was head coach in Knoxville from 2010-12. Dabo Swinney also owes a lot of Clemson's achievements under his watch to having two Broyles Award-winning assistants (Brent Venables and Tony Elliott) as well as another who eventually accepted the Arkansas job (Chad Morris). Schlabach states that Martin was contacted by Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer, but he was never interviewed for the job.
Despite all of the problems behind the scenes, the end result is still pretty good for Tennessee.
Although Pruitt isn't the home-run hire some Vols fans will have wanted, he should have Tennessee headed in the right direction in 2018.