During the first two years of Jeremy Pruitt’s time as the Tennessee Vols’ head coach, there were certain things he did that I thought were specifically for recruiting purposes.
Things like talking publicly, on several occasions, about not forcing players to play a position where they don’t want to play. Or writing a letter to help Marquill Osborne immediate eligibility at Charlotte after transferring from Tennessee.
CB Marquill Osborne was granted immediate eligibility at Charlotte.
Jeremy Pruitt wrote a letter to the NCAA supporting his case. Pruitt said not to quote him on Osborne’s eligibility so I double checked. Pruitt was right.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) August 23, 2019
But the longer Pruitt is on Rocky Top, the more I’m seeing that he didn’t do those things so that it would help the Vols in recruiting. He did those things simply because that’s who he is as a person.
Pruitt is as genuine as it gets. He truly loves his job. And he truly loves making an impact on players.
Don’t get me wrong, winning is important for Pruitt. He hates losing and wants no part of it.
But making an impact on 18-22 year olds is where Pruitt gets his fulfillment. And that’s something that radiates through him when he talks about his job.
“I love my job. I love being around young people. I love watching them grow and accomplish the things they want to accomplish. I got the best job in the world,” said Pruitt during a recent appearance on The Andy Staples show.
It’s incredibly apparent that Pruitt is extremely happy at Tennessee. During his interview with Staples he talked about having all the resources necessary to win at UT (he mentioned that Phillip Fulmer made sure he has what he needs). Pruitt sounded like a guy who was on the top of the world — and that’s after an 8-5 season that was filled with adversity.
I think players and recruits notice how relaxed and at home Pruitt is at Tennessee. If he wasn’t, then you wouldn’t see the “family atmosphere” comments constantly coming from recruits.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Pruitt, Nick Saban and Alabama. But I think it’s fairly obvious that it would take a lot for Pruitt to leave Tennessee at this point.
Jeremy Pruitt is creating his own legacy — away from Alabama and Nick Saban — at Tennessee. He’s content in Knoxville. And he’s clearly building something special.
Pruitt will always be from Alabama. But he’s making his name as a head coach at Tennessee.
I think it’s safe to say that the crimson blood that ran through Pruitt a few years ago has a decidedly orange tint to it these days.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports