Grading Pruitt's time at UT on eve of first game

Grading Pruitt's time at UT on eve of first game

Football

Grading Pruitt's time at UT on eve of first game

Jeremy Pruitt has earned a grade of ‘A’ from his time of being hired in December to the eve of his first game day as Tennessee’s head coach.

Pruitt handled recruiting and building a coaching staff perfectly, a staff that from top-to-bottom is tops in the SEC, while in transition of finishing his job simultaneously as defensive coordinator at Alabama during the College Football Playoff.

After winning his fifth national championship as an assistant, Pruitt made his way to Rocky Top and instantly worked on changing the culture. He confronted players that he did not feel were giving their all following the Orange and White game, he also called out fans in asking why Neyland Stadium was not filled for the spring game like UT’s rivals Alabama and Georgia have done recently on an annual basis.

Players and the fan base are better now and all-in for him telling how it needed to be.

Pruitt and his staff have focused on teaching technique and fundamentals, something that will play a factor in competing in games this season, as early as the first game against West Virginia.

The first-year Tennessee head coach has handled media obligations at ease, something most coaches cannot handle or do not like doing. Pruitt enjoys talking football and being genuine shows in press conferences. He handled false accusations against his character well from former Georgia players at SEC Media Days. There are no cliches and nervousness to hide behind during media availability, Pruitt only wants to talk football and he does.

Most importantly, managing the roster has been the biggest area for Pruitt this offseason. Bringing in graduate transfers, JUCO players and allowing for an academic process play-out for Bryce Thompson will pay dividends this season.

Phillip Fulmer deserves a lot of credit for making Pruitt his first head coaching choice and understanding what he brings to the program as a head coach. Pruitt has handled the offseason, spring practices, the Big Orange Caravan, media functions, and the lead up to the first game near perfectly as his players continue to take on the identity of their head coach.

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