Jeremy Pruitt's staff extended an offer to Milton (Ga.) running back Jordan McDonald in April of 2020. Following Pruitt's termination, it has not taken long for McDonald to hear from Josh Heupel's Tennessee staff. He discusses the new relationship here.
"Things are great with the new staff," Mcdonald told VR2 on Sports Illustrated. "I talk with Coach (Jerry) Mack and Coach (Matt) Merritt almost daily."
McDonald's relationship with Merritt dates back to an offer he picked up from his in January of this year, shortly after he arrived at UCF to coach running backs. Merritt now serves in an off-field role at Tennessee, assisting with the running backs.
"I have a pretty good relationship with both coaches," McDonald said. "The relationship with Coach Merritt started at UCF."
What does McDonald like about the duo? "I like that both are high-energy guys," he said.
While McDonald was not one of Jeremy Pruitt's staff's main priorities, things certainly have a different feel for him with the staff change.
What does this mean to him to quickly see an increase from the Vols? "I'm excited. It means a lot."
Tennessee's new staff has been clear about what they see in McDonald's game that they like. "(They like my) power and speed, my ability to run between the tackles and catch out the backfield," he said.
McDonald is eyeing a commitment around "beginning to mid-senior year," he says.
Jordan ran for over 1800 yards and totaled 24 touchdowns last fall, according to MaxPreps. Below is a look at his season highlights.