Tennessee Vols sophomore linebacker Bryson Eason signed with UT when Jeremy Pruitt was the head coach, but he made it clear this week that he committed to the program, not a coach.
“I came here to play for my state, to play for Tennessee, not for any particular coach,” said Eason on Wednesday during a media session with reporters.
Eason may have wanted to stay at Tennessee regardless of who was hired to replace Pruitt, but he’s more than happy Josh Heupel is the guy in charge now.
“I’m glad Coach Heupel is our coach,” said Eason. “I like playing for him.”
Love this attitude and energy from Memphis native @EasonBryson 💪
— Bill Martin (@Bill_Martin) April 21, 2021
One of the reasons that Eason is happy Heupel is the head coach now is the stark difference between the Vols’ new head coach and Pruitt.
According to Eason, the practices under Heupel are catered to players, whereas the practices under Pruitt had a military vibe.
“With the previous staff, it was more of a military-style of practices,” explained Eason. “It was very strict. This practice is more catered to us, the team, and the players. It’s just a whole different kind of energy level.”
Eason also noted the “family vibe” under Heupel — a phrase that’s becoming a common refrain on Rocky Top the last couple of months.
Eason: “I’d go to war for these guys anytime, anywhere.”
Added that he LOVES Heupel’s family atmosphere and that it makes it easier to play with guys on the field when he knows them well off it.
— VR2 on SI (@VR2onSI) April 21, 2021
Eason’s comments seemingly confirm that the atmosphere under Pruitt was constantly tense.
The vibe under Heupel, however, is a complete 180 from the Pruitt era. Players are encouraged to have fun, while also working hard.
Pruitt’s approach obviously didn’t work. I don’t know if Heupel’s approach with work, either. But it’s worth a shot after the Pruitt experiment completely failed.
Featured image via Tennessee Athletic Communications/USA TODAY