The Pruitt roundup

Rather than continue to pontificate endlessly about what Tennessee’s hiring of Jeremy Pruitt might lead to — and, man, judging from the reactions I’ve seen on Dawg message boards and elsewhere, there’s a lot of concern — I thought I’d just gather a few tidbits in one last post on the subject, at least until he’s actually out there doing something that affects Georgia football.

As for a last thought, while you read all the praise pouring in for Phil Fulmer making the best of a bad situation with the Pruitt hire — a situation that Fulmer helped foster by interfering in a hiring decision and using that to overthrow the sitting AD — keep in mind this observation from David Wunderlich.

Remember, Schiano is a defensive coordinator for one of the best coaches in college football who got run out of Urnge Town before he even got there.  That Tennessee fans take solace in the Nick Saban seal of approval is one of this football season’s amusing ironies.

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62 Comments

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62 responses to “The Pruitt roundup

  1. Beer Money

    This has a real “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” feel to it. Lest us forget that all of these guys that were at UGA and now heading to UFK happened to all be their during the most tumultuous days of the Richt era, with the newly minted Vols HC leading the brigade in the shit stirring. Coincidence?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WF Dawg

    The Will Friend move doesn’t make sense. The linked post says that Tyson Helton will be OC at UT, which is the role Friend holds at CSU. So, will Friend go back to being OL coach? That seems like a step backward.

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  3. Any chance Pruitt gets Thomas Brown to come over from Miami and coach his backfield? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rudy Quillian

    I might be off point here, but Derek Dooley was a Saban assistant who was fired at UTK. The AD who hired him eventually was at least forced out if it was not called being fired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I take issue with some of the so-called Saban assistants. Personally, I don’t believe you are fruit of the real tree unless you worked with him at Alabama (looking at you Dooley and Muschamp). His work at LSU was great, but they took it to another level after the Miami Dolphins experiment.

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  5. Mayor

    This is bad. Very bad. The group of assistants Pruitt is putting together appears to be the best staff UT has ever had and will rival any other staff in the SEC particularly in recruiting. That phat bastard Phil Fulmer saved UT’s bacon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At UT’s peak, Fulmer had Cutcliffe, Chavis and the Bag Man. Pardon me if I wait for results before swooning with you.

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    • Well we knew the east wouldn’t stay a dumpster fire forever right?

      The good news is that CJP will be doing pretty much the same thing as CKS on both sides of the ball in a less optimal recruiting area. I’d be shocked if he was able to either out recruit or coach better than CKS.

      I just question whether he can get the program competitive before some implosion occurs.

      The guy who should be more worried than us is Boom.

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    • ACM

      I mean, they’ve got a DC who has never been a DC, an OC who has never called plays, a DL coach who has bounced around from school to school (and was let go by Kirby Smart), an OL and DB coach coming from Colorado State.
      While a good, solid staff, I’m not shaking in my boots.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Cooley

        Agree. They are a desperate program making desperate moves. Does anybody honestly think they will put recruit our staff or out coach them? Kirby gets to replace Sherrer. Whoever he hires will be a good hire. Pruitt has to rookie coordinators, a dumpster fire program to try and manage as a rookie head coach and has Fulmer meddling in his business the entire time. Forgive me if I don’t see this as a recipe for success.

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      • blake012014blakedawg01

        Sherrer was the DC at South Alabama when we hired him…

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  6. TimberRidgeDawg

    The SB Nation – Brooks Tilley article creates some interesting take aways beyond what we came to know as “The Pruitt Effect”. (We know he can coach a defense and we’re pretty sure he’s got a volatile unfiltered personality if stories circulating are to be believed,)

    He was cleaning up after Todd Grantham. (Good luck with that Florida.)
    When Kirby came on board, he wanted to improve the intensity, speed, and striking of the defense. How much of the deficiencies that Kirby identified was due the overall cultural malaise at the backend of the Richt era that Pruitt couldn’t overcome vs gaps in Pruitt’s coaching philosophy (granted he’s a very good coordinator) and Kirby’s way of doing things. That would have been Year 3 of Pruitt if he remained. We’re seeing the Kirby effect this season and a lot of Pruitt’s guys are on this defense so he can identify talent but a lot of analysts say that Bama’s defense isn’t what it was over the past few years (even with the injuries). Does Pruitt play any role in that?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill June

      Pruitt gave us 2014 Ga/Florida. I still see Leonard Floyd, a top ten pick, not setting the edge but instead chasing the fake upfield for 4 quarters. That would never happen with Kirby.

      Not worried.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      “..a lot of analysts say that Bama’s defense isn’t what it was over the past few years.”

      It’s amusing the straws some folks will grasp at to discredit CJP. And according to Brother Bluto, Pruitt’s the first coach to run unwanted players out of a program. And surprise!, his personality is abrasive (unlike other football coaches from saban and corch all the way down to Propost). The bullshit has gotten pretty damn thick.

      Let me set y’all straight. Pruitt can coach. He can recruit. And just when we breath a sign of relief that Huepel is out of the division, we’ve got another pass-happy guy in Helton to deal with. Pruitt wins 8 games next year – you can bank on that. I hate fulmer and utk with a white-hot passion. But they made a good move.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You purposefully exaggerate what I say and now you’re gonna set us straight?

        Some of you guys are too much.

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      • Atticus

        8 games. LMAO, name which ones? Losses are Bama, UGA, Auburn, WVU, Florida and at least 1 or 2 more to SC, KY, Mizz and Vandy. Even f he runs the last 4 which is doubtful given they have no talent and no QB, he isn’t winning any of the first 5. 6-6 at best.

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        • McBain

          They’ll struggle next year, but he’ll learn lessons along the way much as CKS did in his first year. I wouldn’t be as dismissive of this hire as you seem to be. I also think his Sand Mountain rough-around-the-edges will play well in Knox.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Atticus

            Don’t get me wrong I think he is a very good defensive coach and a bvery good recruiter .But he is going into a very difficult situation. Look at history, the only time TN has done well the last 30 years was when UGA and Bama were down. They are at the top now. And Florida has a much bigger advantage recruiting due to in state talent. He also doesn’t have the personality that will do well in adversity. He has been spoiled winning everywhere. He won’t win there.

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          • Atticus

            And CKS had a LOT more talent than Pruitt does and was able to access two great classes quickly due to in state GA talent. Pruitt has neither luxury.

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            • Athens Townie

              I agree. The challenges facing Pruitt/Tennessee aren’t just short-term gaps in the roster. Tennessee is structurally disadvantaged (awful administration and a relatively weak recruiting base).

              Pruitt will probably improve some things, but it would take a magician to turn Tennessee into a real, consistent threat. That said, the Vols could have done worse than Pruitt. I agree with others who observed he could be bad news for South Carolina.

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      • Greg

        Agree….believe he is bringing something that TN has missed for years. He is a no BS guy, will be relentless on the recruiting trail. Fulmer used to love recruiting Georgia, go back and look at his roster for the ’97 year (MNC)….some key Georgia boys. Now we have both Fulmer and Pruitt hitting Georgia.

        If he and Fulmer get along, this will work imo….and that may be a big IF. Will be interesting…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a guy who did more with less when he was here, so while recruiting is huge he could be highly competitive with 6 to 9 rated recruiting classes nationally.

    The key for him is going to be personal behavior, interactions with others. He has zero diplomacy skills. He’s the kinda guy who will be fired the first year he doesn’t win 10 games because he’s an ass.

    If he’s smart, he burns down the barn to kill the rats, builds it back up to a 10 game winner and gets out while they’re sad to see him leave.

    Wouldn’t surprise me that he looks at this as positioning himself against Dabo when they vacancy in T-town happens.

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  8. burt hole

    This isn’t the first time UT has gone after a Bama guy. They did it in the 1970s with Bill Battles. I guess back then they thought getting one of Bear’s boys was the way to go. In fact, there are at least a couple of similarities; hire a guy whose connected to what may be considered the greatest coach at the time; UT in the midst of a several years’ long losing streak to Bama.

    Here’s to hoping Pruitt has the same success as Battles.

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  9. Bright Idea

    It won’t be the technicalities and recruiting that define Pruitt at UT, it will be his personality and demeanor with handling the aspects of head coaching that a guy like him may come to dread.

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    • Stoopnagle

      This is where I’m at with the Pruitt hire. He’ll get them sound and talented, but he and Phil are going to come to a disagreement at some point. Phil isn’t going to lose.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. JN

    I saw last night that Rocker was signing on to coach the DL. Isn’t he the one who talked about mutiny? Did I interpret Rocker’s comments wrong at the end of 15, or am I not remembering that correctly?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Dawg abides

    At least they’re moving up in rank. They traded Sgt. Carter for Col. Klink.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Atticus

    They are going to lose 6 games next year. Good luck Coach Pruitt. He is a very aggressive defensive coach who know talent but this job is too big for him. TN doesn’t win when Bama and UGA are this good, and Florida will be back, only when they’ve been down. His personality won’t take to losing and he has been at places where he won, except for UGA a few times and look what happened, he lost it. Just ask Thomas Brown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Cooley

      Agree. I am not even sure Pruitt is cut out to be a head coach at all. Much less at a perfect storm like Tennessee.

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  13. Macallanlover

    Personally feel this will be a disaster hire for TN, and I am OK with that, looking forward to seeing the disruptions I expect. Guy can coach defense, but needs a strong hand on him at all times, that will be more difficult with him as the HC. Burn baby, burn.

    What I am pissed about is all the contact with coaches at a time they are under contract with another school. And while UGA being poached is the direct cause of this comment, it is wrong for all programs. NCAA needs to have a strong penalty for contacting coaches before their current job is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I listened to Pruitt’s press conference last night on the way home. Nothing about him in Knoxville scares me. He’s going to have problems recruiting Georgia blue chips just as every other UT coach since 90s Fulmer has had. I’m not convinced he can do the other stuff it takes to be the head coach. Can he get them back to respectability? Yes. Is he going to make them a championship caliber program? As long as Kirby is in Athens, no.

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  15. Mike Cooley

    I have enjoyed throwing shade at my Vol loving buddy who made this crack to me last week, “We are Tennessee. We dont have to settle. Lmao! I guess we should just be like Georgia and go hire a Saban coordinator. Lmao! We will get a proven head coach.”

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    • rchris

      More like, “We are Tennessee. We are 62-63 the last 10 years, good for about 80th in the nation! We don’t have to settle.” They also have no SEC east crowns during that time, nor a double digit victory season. If they don’t win soon, no recruit will be able to remember a time when UT was relevant.

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  16. AusDawg85

    2018 will be his throwaway season. 10 wins after that with inability to beat Bama, faceplant against us, and failing to show up vs. FCS school. Will kick a lot of field goals and ST will be full of mistakes. OL undersized. Tenacious D though. Should be an interesting 15 year run.

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  17. Debby Balce

    I am surprised that Will Friend is leaving CSU to come to TN. It makes me want to know exactly what happened in 2015. A lot of Richt’s staff is going to work for him.

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  18. “Half the team was straight up stealing” confirmed my suspicion.

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  19. AugustaDawg8

    If I see one more comment about “recruiting just got much tougher” I’m afraid my head might explode. How does this make it tougher? Because Jeremy Pruitt is a good recruiter? Well, hell, he was ALREADY recruiting the same kids as us but with the BAMA name-brand behind him. At best, his move to Tennessee moves Tennessee from after-thoughts to distant third finishers to UGA and Bama in the big recruiting battles in ATL. As far as the rest of the staff, I present the following:

    Tyson Helton: Six 3-star+ commits since the 2010 recruiting cycle. Good Xs and Os coach, but not a Bryan McClendon on the recruiting trail.

    Will Friend: Terrible recruiter. Mediocre OL talent developer.

    Tracy Rocker: Good recruiter but his specialty overlaps with Kevin Sherrer. Was hit or miss with development of elite talent (i.e. Trenton Thompson, Jonathan Ledbetter)

    Kevin Sherrer: Great recruiter, but his success stories overlap with Rocker. Coaching ability is not something I feel comfortable assessing. I mean, Lorenzo and Davin have had their moments but have underachieved to a large extent. And how much of their good performances has been the result of latent talent rather than coaching? (EXTRA: His #1 recruit this year, 5* Adam Anderson says his departure doesn’t affect his commitment to UGA at all)

    Chris Rumph: As primary recruiter, he’s been very sparse in terms of results/commitments. Judge for yourself if he’s an upgrade in terms of coaching.

    Terry Fair: Has never gotten a player higher than a mid-3*

    Someone please tell me how this assemblage of coaches either A) makes recruiting any more difficult than it already is or B) presents a collective coaching quality more than just “good”. This isn’t something to be scared of. If anything, be glad that Alabama lost one of it’s best recruiters. Will Tennessee be better? Probably; these are mostly good coaches. Will Pruitt last for long with his temperament and proclivity to be a complete asshole to all those around him? Or with the added interference of Phil Fulmer? I doubt it.

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  20. DawgByte

    There’s no need to freak, but I think Phat Phil pulled a magic rabbit out of his ass. Pruitt’s meteoric rise is rooted in a relentless passion for success. This dude is going to make things happen at Tenn.

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  21. 69Dawg

    Could Phil really have fallen for CJP’s BS about depending on Phil for his help. Having Phil sitting down the hall is just as bad as Mullens having SOS down the hall. I think that CJP and Phil are at each other’s throats before the end of next season. If he wins a lot then maybe the fans will fire Phil again. If he doesn’t win Phil will stab him in the back, it’s just what he does.

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  22. I’m not really concerned about the hire.

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  23. Will Trane

    Like Pruitt a lot. Will put together a good staff.
    What we know is that Will Friend’s best friend was Pruitt not Bobo.
    Bobo is now out in the cold.
    But think on these games Pruitt coached. Think about that beat down Bama put on Dawgs. Pruitt could not stop it. Think about not being able to stop the Gators while he was at UGA. Think about the Clemson game last year. He could not stop the Tigers. At FSU he did stop Auburn, but it was a struggle.
    Friend? What linemen did he recruit while at UGA that was All American or All SEC? Name one.
    Would you play for Pruitt at UT and Fulmer or Smart and UGA?
    Like Pruitt, but I’d take Smart everyday!

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  24. Basquait

    My opinion is that UT just got a helluva lot better. Tyson Helton was on the short list for our OC by the fan base after coaching under Brohm with Callaway as his line coach. The Hilltoppers scored points, period. Obviously Kirby wanted Pittman, and Pruitt’s #1 choice was Enos ( as was Kirby’s) until Harbaugh went after Enos. Not sure where that stands. If it weren’t for Pruitt’s stint at Georgia and Richt’s less restrictive media access to assistants, we really wouldn’t know how volatile and blunt Pruitt is/can be.

    My bottom line: Our division just got drastically stronger and more competitive for next season. That’s a good thing, I want to play the best at their best. As much as i hate typing Bama, their Sabanmetrics helped them land in the playoffs despite not only not winning the SEC championship, but not even playing in the championship game.

    Beers, goodnight

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