The deal is getting finalized. The search is over. Tennessee has its next head coach.
Before the search began back in November, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt wasn’t a name many in Knoxville had on their tongues. However, Pruitt’s arrival has set Rocky Top abuzz, as fans are excited to not only have a head coach, but one who had worked under the Nick Saban system.
But who exactly is Pruitt?
Here are 3 stats to show you what he brings to the table:
Since 2013, Pruitt has been the defensive coordinator of four defenses that have finished in the top 10 in defensive efficiency — 2013 Florida State (1st), 2015 Georgia (8th), 2016 Alabama (1st) and 2017 Alabama (4th).
Not too shabby.
Pruitt also has four championship rings in his collection, winning three while on staff in Tuscaloosa (2009, 2011-2012) and one as the defensive coordinator in Tallahassee (2013). He was one second away from winning a fifth last season when Alabama fell to Clemson in the National Championship game.
I’m gonna leave this tweet here:
According to 247, Since 2010 Tennessee has signed 28 recruits with a rating of 95 or higher. In that same time, Jeremy Pruitt, alone, is responsible for signing 27 recruits rated 95 or higher at his schools.
— Andrew Powell (@VolunteerLane) December 6, 2017
This isn’t a hyperbole — Pruitt is a monster recruiter. He’s so good, he got Derrick Henry (a running back) to switch from Georgia to Alabama, and never actually coached Henry!
Butch Jones was a fine recruiter, but Pruitt appears to be on a much higher plane.
73 and 2.4
What do 73 and 2.4 mean to Pruitt?
Those numbers represent how many rushing yards per game and per carry the Crimson Tide have allowed over the last two seasons.
For comparisons sake, in that same time span, the Vols surrendered 232 yards rushing on 5.3 yards per carry per game.
In 2016 alone, Alabama allowed 824 rushing yards in 15 games. Tennessee squandered 863 yards to Kentucky and Missouri alone that season.
This was obviously appealing to Phillip Fulmer, who is the last head coach in Tennessee’s history to field an elite defense.