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Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson shows appreciation for Jeremy Pruitt

08 December 2017

ESPN reported that Pruitt "plans to stay on as Alabama's defensive coordinator through the College Football Playoff, while pulling double duty as the Vols' head coach and spearheading their recruiting efforts and putting together his staff at Tennessee".

Pruitt replaces Butch Jones, who was sacked November 12 after going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in Southeastern Conference competition in five seasons.

"I'm certain he appreciates the unique opportunity to lead a program of Tennessee's caliber", Fulmer said. Fulmer took over for John Currie, who was suspended just eight months into the job as Tennessee investigates whether it can fire him for cause. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year.

A former defensive back at Alabama, Pruitt served two different stints on the Crimson Tide staff under Saban.

Fulmer was subsequently named Currie's replacement as athletics director. Over the years, Pruitt has managed to land an all-star list of commitments for Alabama, Georgia and Florida State from the likes of RB Derrick Henry, RB T.J. Yeldon, DB Jalen Ramsey, LB Dylan Moses, DE Lorenzo Carter, LB Mack Wilson, LB Reggie Ragland, LB Roquan Smith, LB Ryan Anderson, LB C.J. Mosley and OL Alphonse Taylor.

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Considering how bad this search has gone for the Vols, I think the hire of Pruitt is a home run.

Pruitt, who was a defensive back at MTSU (1993-94) and Alabama (1995-96) also appeared on the MTV TV series Two-A-Days while he was an assistant coach at Hoover High School in Alabama.

The Rainsville, Alabama native was a finalist for the 2013 and 2016 Broyles Award, given each year to the best college football assistant coach. He has also worked under Saban, serving as Alabama's director of player development from 2010-12.

According to reports, the Vols had a deal in place to make the Ohio State coordinator their next head coach, but backed out at the last minute amid on-campus and social media protests against Schiano over his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State.

Tennessee hasn't won the SEC Eastern Division since 2007 and hasn't captured a conference title since its 1998 national championship season. However, the search for a new coach had been so unsuccessful that it was even jokingly rumored North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un even turned down the job.

Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson shows appreciation for Jeremy Pruitt