Robert Neyland Jr.: 'Very happy with Fulmer’s choice in Pruitt'

Robert Neyland Jr.: 'Very happy with Fulmer’s choice in Pruitt'

Football

Robert Neyland Jr.: 'Very happy with Fulmer’s choice in Pruitt'

Former Tennessee football player and son of General Robert Neyland, Robert Neyland Jr., likes what he has seen so far with Jeremy Pruitt as UT’s head coach.

Neyland Jr., who played on UT’s 1951 national championship team, has already met Pruitt and told Vols Wire that he is “definitely convinced” the first-year Tennessee head coach can get the Vols back to competing for championships.

“He (Pruitt) called a few days later after he was first selected for the position by Phillip Fulmer and then I got to meet him at the Volunteer lettermen’s gathering and talked to him first-hand,” Neyland Jr. said.

Pruitt’s resume of winning five national championships as an assistant coach along with his ability in relating to players while being a hard-nosed coach are areas that Neyland Jr. feels confident in why he will do well at UT.

“I am convinced this is a guy that will tell his players either you get out there and you play with every bit of whatever talent you have or you are going to be sitting on the bench,” he said. “I am convinced of that and he has a tremendous resume with five national championships, one at Florida State and four at Alabama including last year when they held Georgia’s good offense to 23 points in overtime.”

Pruitt’s hard-nosed approach is along the line of Neyland Jr.’s father.

“He was a hard-nosed coach,” Neyland Jr. said of the General. “He emphasized being tough and would say frequently before we went out on the field that ‘resolution and determination – that’s what’s going to win for you today’.

“He was tough and firm and by and large his players respected him and liked him.”

As fall training camp and the season approaches, Neyland Jr. says he is “very happy with Fulmer’s choice in Pruitt.”

“I just know that he is going to be successful,” he said. “It won’t happen immediately, they are just too far down to happen immediately, but in a couple of years I think they will be on their way. It will take a little time and is not going to be an instant fix.”

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