Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt offered Tennessee job

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The nearly comically long and twisting road to finding a new Tennessee football coach may finally end tomorrow. Tennessee struck out landing Dan Mullen, former Mississippi State and now Florida head coach, and once that deal fell through, Currie reportedly offered the Tennessee coaching job to Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano last Sunday.

Tennessee backed out of the deal with Schiano, and Currie resumed in trying to find a coach. Pruitt is in his second season with the Tide.

Five days after being named the university's athletic director, Phillip Fulmer zeroed in on the longtime defensive coach and current Alabama defensive coordinator as the Vols coach, along with interviewing Auburn's defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. He's the sixth former Saban assistant to take a head coaching position in the SEC, following Dooley, Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, Jim McElwain and Kirby Smart. The Crimson Tide ranks first in scoring defense this year, allowing 11.5 points per game, and led the nation last year while allowing 13 points per game.

Hearing that #Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as a strong candidate for the #Tennessee head coaching vacancy. Pruitt may need a little longer to turn the Volunteers into a national title contender.

Keep in mind Pruitt had to replace Marlon Humphrey, Reuben Foster, Ryan Anderson, Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and Eddie Jackson, all of whom were selected in the 2017 National Football League draft.

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If Pruitt is introduced as the next Vols coach on Thursday, the next thing to keep an eye on is whether Saban will want him around through the College Football Playoff hunt.

Saban is the best coach in college football, and even he relies on the deepest pool of assistant coaches in the country. He was head coach in Knoxville from 2010-12. Less than a week after having the full-time job, Fulmer appears to have his coach.

The 43-year-old is widely recognized as an excellent recruiter and was a Broyles Award finalist in 2016.

If the parties don't hit an unexpected snag, Fulmer has done in six days what former AD John Currie failed miserably at since firing former coach Butch Jones on November 12 after a humiliating 50-17 loss at Missouri.

Although Pruitt isn't the home-run hire some Vols fans will have wanted, he should have Tennessee headed in the right direction in 2018.

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