Jeremy Pruitt may be out of the same Saban defensive school as Todd Grantham, but there’s at least one way in which he’s different. While Grantham claimed that he didn’t need a behemoth manning the nose guard position, he sure was happy using 360-pound monsters like John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers as space eaters there.
Pruitt told reporters Wednesday that he’s looking for slimmer, sleeker players. That’s especially true up front.
“We’re trying to get a lot of our bigger guys down,” Pruitt said. “Personally we feel like everybody’s a little heavy. We’d like everybody a bit faster. That’s our preference. We’re trying to slim up just a little. Including the coaching staff.”
Defensive end Ray Drew said he’s now about 282 pounds, after playing at 287 last year. His goal is to be at 275 by the fall.
“It’s that little 1/10th of a second that counts,” Drew said. “There were a few times last year where I had an opportunity to make some plays if I was a step quicker here or a step quicker there.”
I can’t argue that the move doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to catch running quarterbacks in spread attacks. But how will it hold up in the face of a power offense running out of twin tight end sets? (Of course, given how Alabama’s running attack mauled a Georgia defense with Jenkins and Geathers, you could certainly argue Pruitt’s approach couldn’t generate any worse results.)