Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Tennessee's Pruitt ready to exclusively focus on coaching Vols

Tennessee's Pruitt ready to exclusively focus on coaching Vols

Until Monday night's national championship game is over, Jeremy Pruitt still holds two jobs - his new one as Tennessee's head coach and his old one as Alabama's defensive coordinator. While there is common ground between the last two Crimson Tide defensive coordinators, Smart explained there was one major hurdle Pruitt faced that he did not. "The only difference was we had the early signing period this time".

". Most of the time, my mind was thinking about Knoxville". In turn, having hired Georgia's Sherrer to be his defensive coordinator, he can josh, "I told him he needs to be working on Tennessee this whole week". "I think he was in a worse situation". He will continue assembling his staff and, of course, recruiting with the February 7 Signing Day fast approaching.

"What was interesting, (recently) we're in a (Tide) staff meeting and they're starting to set up calls for (Nick) Saban", Pruitt said.

"And Tosh just kind of paused, and I said, 'Tosh, do you need me to leave the room?' So everybody kind of got a kick out of it, but we all recruit the same guys".

"You nearly feel like I'm sitting here working on this game, should I be doing something about the place I'm about to go?"

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There was not one bone of judgement in his body. "He was very amusing ". He loved this business. "He was very proud of me, he loved this show".

In the days leading up to the championship game, Pruitt had plenty of late-night chats discussing Tennessee recruiting with Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, who will now be the Volunteers' defensive coordinator. "There's really not a good answer to that, but I've tried to manage it the best I could".

Jeremy Pruitt stepped to the podium Wednesday as Tennessee's head football coach, bringing an end to a self-described "whirlwind" 48-hour stretch.

"Now mix in a signing date while you're practicing at another place, that's unfathomable and I think he's done a tremendous job of that and he's done it the right way, which that's what we do as coaches".

Even though Smart is working to ruin Pruitt's Alabama farewell, he had nothing but high praise for the job Pruitt has done in the last month.

In explaining this elongated Alabama run, Smart said of Saban, "He never asked anybody in the organization to work any harder than he did". "He's done it the right way". We do this because of the kids. By defying human nature, outwitting the dreaded complacency, going 124-14 the past 10 seasons with four national championships (hiking his own total to five) and staging a dynasty in which a 10-3 season in 2010 turns up as the dud of the bunch - 10-3! So, it was an easy transition for them to continue to implement the same thing for the players. Pruitt's an Alabama native and former defensive back for Gene Stallings' Crimson Tide teams in 1995-96 who later started his career there as a graduate assistant. Now Alabama's former defensive coordinator, Pruitt experienced an unprecedented month for a college football coach.

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