February 7, 2018
With the chance to steer Tennessee in the right direction, new head coach Jeremy Pruitt didn’t waste much time saying he was going to restore Tennessee back to the good ol’ days Vol fans have been hungry for. Pruitt a long time high school coach and college defensive coordinator sold Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer that he was the right man for the job.
Having played as a defensive back at Alabama under Gene Stallings and eventually rising through the coaching ranks at Alabama, Florida State, and Georgia as defensive coordinator. Pruitt’s defenses were consistently ranked in high in college football.
But is he the right man for the job?
At this point Vol fans would almost except a sophisticated chimpanzee as head coach being denied any relevance in the SEC or nationally since Phillip Fulmer was fired as head coach. Last year, under Butch Jones, Tennessee saw their first season in history with zero wins in the SEC and have been ranked at the bottom of the SEC East for a decade. While “getting back to Tennessee Football” may sound like a great thing, how much patience do Vol fans have to let Pruitt get us there if he’s able?
However, Pruitt has inherited a mess at Tennessee. Despite winning seasons and bowl appearances, Butch Jones failed as head coach to develop any of his top ranked recruiting classes to give Pruitt any shot at a quick turn around in Knoxville. Vol fans have watched as players left the college ranks to the NFL only to dominate in their positions once they were developed by NFL teams. No question that development was a key ingredient missing at Tennessee and has what led us to throwing Pruitt into the Big Orange Abyss and pray for a miracle.
No miracle will come early enough for Vol fans but they will have to give Pruitt time. The only way out of this abyss is to recruit your way out and develop with a robust strength and conditioning program along with the right players for the right positions.
Only time will tell as we wait for the 2018 season to begin but any hope for Tennessee should be tempered for at least 2 to 3 years before we see what Pruitt can do for the Vols.