Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s deal to be the next head coach at Tennessee is all set, sources tell SI. Pruitt is expected to receive a six-year deal, and a press conference to announce him is set for Thursday evening. New Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer had wanted someone he felt could bring more of a hard-nosed, demanding style to the program and became convinced Pruitt is just that guy.
Expect Pruitt to hire his old Alabama roommate Will Friend, now the offensive coordinator at Colorado State, as his O-line coach at Tennessee. Friend was instrumental in bringing Pruitt to Georgia, a source told SI.
As for his offensive coordinator spot, USC passing game coordinator/QB coach Tyson Helton (the younger brother of Trojans head coach Clay Helton) is expected to be in the mix. He was an offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky before he came to USC. Kevin Sherrer, a big-time recruiter and linebackers coach at Georgia, who has a history with Pruitt, is expected to be the Vols new DC under Pruitt, according to a source. I’m told Nick Saban also might pursue Sherrer to replace Pruitt as the Tide’s defensive coordinator. In addition, Florida defensive line coach Chris Rumph and former Georgia D-line coach Tracy Rocker are expected to join the Vols defensive staff.
The 43-year old Pruitt has been the Tide’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons. This year, Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense and yards per play. Pruitt’s value at Bama goes well beyond being just an excellent defensive coordinator with schemes. He’s someone Nick Saban really counts on to help set the tone in development and recruiting. His loss would be significant to the Tide.