There’s no doubt that Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt is a Nick Saban disciple.

The legendary Alabama coach gave Pruitt his first shot as a college assistant in 2007. Since then, Pruitt has spent 8 of his 12 seasons at the collegiate level on Saban’s staff in some capacity.

It’s not unusual for a Saban disciple to get a head coaching job in the SEC. In fact, it’s not the first time it’s happened at Tennessee. Derek Dooley was a Saban protege that spent three seasons as the head coach in Knoxville.

But, as was the case with Dooley, coming from the Saban tree of coaching doesn’t always guarantee success. Saban proteges have failed more than they’ve succeeded.

Often times, it’s because coaches try to duplicate Saban’s famous “process”.

Trying to be a carbon copy of Saban doesn’t work for coaches. And it won’t work for Pruitt.

Fortunately for the Vols, however, Pruitt isn’t trying to be Saban. He’s just trying to be Jeremy Pruitt.

Buffalo Bills tight end Lee Smith, a Powell native who originally signed with Tennessee in 2006, recently commented on the job Pruitt is doing at UT. Smith thinks big things are in store for the Vols, mostly because of Pruitt’s “being himself” approach.

This is exactly how greatness is born. Chasing another player, or coach, never works out.

If Pruitt wants to truly be great, it has to be in his own unique way.

I think it’s clear the Alabama native has the personality and confidence to do things his way. And I think he has the knowledge to make his way the best way (at least for Tennessee).

Featured image via Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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