Jeremy Pruitt: Relentless recruiter

Jeremy Pruitt is Tennessee's final answer to the strangest coaching search

University of Tennessee's Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer will hold a press conference Thursday at 6:05 p.m. ET in the Peyton Manning Locker Room to introduce Jeremy Pruitt as Tennessee's next head football coach.

Pruitt is the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history.

Tennessee is hiring Pruitt after their search failed to land big names such as Gary Patterson, Chris Petersen and Mike Gundy.

With Georgia in 2014, Pruitt's defense ranked sixth in the SEC at 337.2 total yards per game.

Last season, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin accepted the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic in December and attempted to stay on Alabama's staff through the playoff, but it didn't end well.

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BC-FBC-Tennessee-Pruitt, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 723 Tennessee hires Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as coachAP Photo ALTUS201, ALBIN301, ALBIN302, ALBIN303, ALBIN304Eds: Adds contract terms. Pruitt won a national championship at FSU in 2013, once again, touting the nation's best scoring defense, giving up just 12.1 points per game. He worked an initial stint on Alabama's staff from 2007-12, when he helped the Crimson Tide win national titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012. His first year as a defensive coordinator was in 2013 at Florida State.

Pruitt is in his second season as the Alabama defensive coordinator.

"Pruitt is an excellent recruiter and I think he's a good get especially after the debacle of a coaching search that occurred". Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year. Pruitt was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant.

This will be Pruitt's first head coaching opportunity after a long career as an assistant. "I see him getting talent to Tennessee".

Then Tennessee turned to Washington State head football coach Mike Leach, who reportedly had a great meeting with then Tennessee athletic director John Currie, the deal was blown off as Currie was removed from his position and Phil Fulmer took over the athletic director position as well as the football coaching search on December 1.

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