Before his coaching career began, Pruitt played college football as a defensive back at Middle Tennessee State before finishing his playing career at Alabama. From 2014-15, Pruitt coordinated the No. 7 and No. 17 overall defense in the country while at Georgia. He will also continue to coach the Crimson Tide defense in the College Football Playoff.
Sources say the only question that remains is whether he will coach in Alabama's semifinal game against Clemson. He agreed to a six-year deal that will pay more than $3.8 million annually. 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. Pruitt spent time as the director of player development from 2007-2009.
Pruitt has been Alabama's defensive coordinator since 2016. Copeland wasn't even on the radar of the previous Tennessee staff, but as soon as it was announced Pruitt had landed the job, things changed in a hurry for the top-ranked receiver from the Sunshine State.
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With Pruitt gone, one possible replacement would be Tosh Lupoi who is in his third year as Alabama's outside linebackers coach. Pruitt was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant.
GoVols247 reported that Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer met with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on Wednesday, and that Pruitt is expected to be named the next head UT football coach. Before the 2015 playoffs, Smart accepted the head coaching position at Georgia, but he also attempted to stay on the Alabama staff through the playoffs.
According to reports, the Vols had a deal in place to make the Ohio State coordinator their next head coach, but backed out at the last minute amid on-campus and social media protests against Schiano over his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. And now it appears that Pruitt is pursuing another Colorado State coach, and this coach is also a former Vol player and assistant.