Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

The last word on Pruitt at UGA (if we’re lucky)?

Although I don’t dismiss the sources for Murray’s and Pollack’s takes on Jeremy Pruitt’s time in Athens, unlike them, Hutson Mason was actually there when Pruitt was.  Here’s what he has to say about the former defensive coordinator:

A lot of people at Georgia saw how Pruitt handled certain situations,” said Mason, now a sports-talk radio host from noon to 3 p.m. daily on Atlanta Sports X (106.3-FM). “He had blow-ups and antics. Those are well-documented. Those happened. … I definitely agree with what (Murray and Pollack) said about being disrespectful.”

Mason confirmed that Pruitt had confrontations with Richt, fellow assistants and several members of the support staff while in Athens.

That’s not to say Mason agrees that Pruitt’s combative personality might contribute to his eventual demise at Tennessee. On the contrary, actually.

“The part I disagree with is I think some of those traits — (Pruitt) being straight-forward and blunt and cut-throat — I think those things might suit him well for having success in this conference,” said Mason, who coached some high school ball before getting into radio. “I think this conference and college football in general is a bottom-line business. Whether you’re talking about CEOs in the business world or head football coaches, you’ve got to be able to delegate and motivate and those things.”

Mason also said he can see why Pruitt sometimes lost his cool when it came to Richt’s leadership style and personality.

“I think part of it was the kind of lackadaisical, laissez-faire-type of environment (at Georgia),” Mason said. “Pruitt came from Florida State and Alabama, where everything was planned-out in detail and he won championships. It was just different under Mark Richt, and (Pruitt) didn’t like that difference.

“You’ve got Mark Richt, who is a very non-confrontational-type guy, and then you’ve got Pruitt, who is very my-way-or-the-highway. So part of it was Mark Richt not keeping him in his place. Because, you know what, (Pruitt) ain’t going to Alabama and doing that. He ain’t talking to Nick Saban like that. So I think part of it is at Alabama he knew where he stood; at Georgia, I don’t think so.”

There is a lot of stuff in there that comports with what I’ve heard.  Pruitt was a prickly guy, to say the least.  Richt didn’t take to the CEO role well.  That was a recipe for a lot of staff friction, which indeed turned out to be the case.  And Pruitt’s tendency to show his ass, even if in a good cause, wasn’t a positive even outside of staff relations.

That being said, what Mason says about Pruitt should cause Tennessee fans to be concerned, even more so that what Murray and Pollack mentioned.

If Pruitt needed the structure he got from Saban and a Saban disciple like Fisher to rein in his more obnoxious tendencies, tendencies that were given room to fester in Athens, how confident should anyone be that Phil Fulmer is going to be the kind of guy who’s going to play the Nick Saban role now?

The cynical answer to that is indicated in Mason’s feature not a bug observation — “… (Pruitt) being straight-forward and blunt and cut-throat — I think those things might suit him well for having success in this conference…”.  If he wins, Fulmer’s either not going to care about the attitude, or, perhaps more accurately, not going to be allowed to care by boosters and the fan base.  If he doesn’t win at a rate that mollifies the locals, hoo, boy, watch out.

Bottom line, there’s more than one reason Pruitt is with his fourth program in five seasons.  Everyone agrees he can coach.  It’s the rest of what everyone agrees on that has opened up this line of questions.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

Not one of those recruiting posts

In case you haven’t heard, Georgia picked up its eleventh commitment for the class of 2019, defensive lineman Zion Logue.  I don’t really have any interest in delving into the kid’s tapes, how he projects or anything else like that.  Instead, I’d like to turn your attention to what really gives me pleasure here:  how it burns, even if just in the short term, two other programs.

First, Logue is yet another kid from Tennessee spurning the home state Vols.  This apparently is being noticed.

Where are the in-state players?

Perhaps the question will be phrased more delicately, but Pruitt can expect to be asked in some fashion about his approach to recruiting talent from the Volunteer State.

The reason is simple. Only one of the 13 players committed to the Vols’ 2019 recruiting class is a high school senior in Tennessee, and the state’s top prospects in the class continue pledging to other schools.

Top prospects such as Nashville receiver Lance Wilhoite (Oregon), Murfreesboro cornerback Woodi Washington (Oklahoma), Nashville linebacker Kane Patterson (Ohio State) and Memphis running back Eric Gray (Michigan) have announced their commitments to other schools this month. Just one of the state’s top eight high school seniors remains uncommitted.

The Vols’ only in-state high school commitment is from Nashville offensive guard Jackson Lampley. Two other commitments in the class have ties to the state. East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman Darel Middleton is originally from Oak Ridge, while IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene previously played high school football in east Tennessee.

Not to worry, Urnge Nation.  Jeremy Pruitt has taken a page out of SOD’s recruiting manual (see “Dooleyland” in the Lexicon) and redefined geography.

Instead, their focus to this point has been on talent-rich Georgia. They have five commitments from the Peach State. Pruitt said during a Big Orange Caravan stop in Atlanta this summer that he considers the Atlanta area as “in state.”

Cool beans, man.  Does that mean we get to take your water… I mean, it’s really our water, amirite?

Meanwhile, even folks who swallowed the “Fulmer knew what he was doing when he hired Pruitt” line are getting a wee bit concerned.  Check out Rocky Top Talk’s reaction to Logue’s commitment.

Tonight he has committed to Georgia, meaning Tennessee has missed on yet another top prospect from inside its own borders. In recent weeks, the Vols have seen receiver Lance Wilhoite commit to Oregon, defensive back Woodi Washington commit to Oklahoma and linebacker Kane Patterson commit to Ohio State.

Tennessee currently holds just one commitment from an in-state player (two if you want to count Chris Akporoghene), coming from Jackson Lampley. That’s a trend that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff are going to have to fix quickly.

Unless Pruitt and company are planning on flipping a bunch of kids, that seems like a horse is already out of the barn suggestion.  Guess we’ll just have to settle for angst for the moment.

Meanwhile, this example of ‘Cock strutting (“It’s the middle of July and we are all in the same range of commitments and we are ahead of them. Pressure is all on them.”) is not aging well, as the Logue commitment bumps Georgia five spots ahead of South Carolina in the latest version of 247Sports’ recruiting ratings … and that’s with Kirby holding five less commitments than Boom.

Not to say it’ll last (who knows?), but it’s certainly good for a few shits and giggles for now.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Recruiting

Coach rankings, like politics, are local.

Read Rocky Top Talk’s list of SEC head coaches and see if you don’t get the same chuckle I did comparing the logic behind their placement of Jeremy Pruitt at nine and Joe Moorhead at ten.  And, yes, I’m using “logic” in the loosest imaginable sense.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Ain’t never coming back

Notre Dame just received a commitment from one of the top ten prospects from the state of Tennessee, four-star wide receiver TJ Sheffield.

Normally, of course, I don’t give a rat’s ass about a July commitment, especially one that doesn’t involve UGA, but I’m making an exception in his case because of one amusing historical note“Sheffield originally committed to Tennessee only to decommit after Alabama defeated the Vols 45-7.”

Man, Booch left such a bad taste in this kid’s mouth that not even Fulmer and Pruitt could wash it away.  (Although, what do you figure the odds are that Vol message board fans are dismissing this by saying Pruitt doesn’t really want him?)

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting

From a head coach to a punchline

By the time the state of Tennessee gets done with Booch, I may wind up feeling sorry for the guy.

Words fail me.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Political Wankery

ARE EEE ESS PEE EEE CEE TEE

The snark in former Tennessee players is strong, Obi-Wan.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Awkward in Urnge

Former UT receiver Josh Smith had this to say about his deposed head coach:

“I’m just gonna be honest. I had multiple meetings with Coach Jones, and he knows how I feel. He was … I just never felt like he was himself. I always felt like he put a front on. I mean, he was in such a hard position that I probably would, too, honestly, so I can’t really say anything too bad about him. I do respect him for all the hard work he put into UT, but I honestly wanted the real him.

“I wanted just to be able to, like, laugh, and, like, have a conversation with him, and I just felt like I couldn’t ever do that, or anybody ever could. It was just always too serious, or we were in trouble…”

Booch a patent phony?  Who’da thunk it?

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange