1999 West Alabama: Pruitt's first fall camp 'hard-hitting'

1999 West Alabama: Pruitt's first fall camp 'hard-hitting'

Football

1999 West Alabama: Pruitt's first fall camp 'hard-hitting'

Tennessee will kickoff fall training camp August 3, Jeremy Pruitt’s first fall camp as a head coach.

Pruitt launched his college coaching career in 1999 as a position coach at Division-II West Alabama.

He continues to coach with the same intensity in 2018 as he did then.

In Livingston, Ala., it was football all of the time for the 25-year-old coach.

Pruitt was a first-time college position coach along with Ashley Ingram. Ingram was offensive line coach for West Alabama and currently serves as an assistant coach at Navy, where he has been on staff since 2008. Ingram currently coaches centers and guards and is the running game coordinator for the Midshipmen.

“It was both of our first jobs after being a graduate assistant and we had a blast and a good time,” Ingram said in the book Fulmer Hires Pruitt. “We had a great time coaching together and when I think of Jeremy in those days, he had a passion for football who could not get enough of it.

“He loves the game of football and coaching it, talking about it, watching it, evaluating it, he just loves the whole deal and that is why he has been so successful.”

Ingram and Pruitt were roommates at West Alabama, so it was football all of the time for the two that were starting out in their careers.

“We were roommates, so we had a blast and a good time talking a lot of football,” Ingram said. “We were young and really passionate about football and had a good time coaching those guys. We were all big-time football guys, we coached hard and practiced hard.

“Jeremy has always been a guy that cannot get enough of football, he lives the game and is very passionate and is just a really great guy.”

Coaching, practicing hard and teaching technique have always been Pruitt’s makeup and remains the same at Tennessee as he is set to kickoff fall training camp.

Derrick Askew was a senior cornerback in 1999 at West Alabama and saw how intense Pruitt was during camp.

“Pruitt came in and he was a real intense guy,” Askew said in the book Fulmer Hires Pruitt. “We kind of butted heads at the beginning, but it worked out. Pruitt was a younger guy and not that far removed from playing and he would get out there and show us drills. He liked physical play and he wanted us corners to really come up and hit, he wanted us to cover too, but when it was time to be physical we needed to be physical and that was taught in our bump coverage.

“Those two-a-days were hot and hard-hitting. There was a lot of soreness and things like that at the end of the day.”

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