Jeremy Pruitt to Alabama is official, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Here’s what Nick Saban said in the team-issued release:

“We are excited to announce that Jeremy Pruitt has rejoined our staff at Alabama as defensive coordinator. He did an outstanding job in the six years he was with us and did the same at Florida State and Georgia after that. Jeremy is obviously an excellent defensive coach, and also does a great job in terms of recruiting and developing relationships with players. We’re pleased and happy to have Jeremy and his family back in Tuscaloosa.”

Georgia writers also are reporting that Jeremy Pruitt will not stay with the Bulldogs through the bowl game, while Kirby Smart will stay at Alabama through the College Football Playoff.

Pruitt already has begun recruiting out of the team’s football facilities Friday, reports indicate.

Pruitt isn’t the coordinator officially until Smart leaves and as far as it has been reported, Smart will call the plays. But perhaps there’s some evil genius to this maneuvering by Saban, as he could have both Smart and Pruitt essentially on staff prior to the national semifinal game against Michigan State.

In terms of the hire, it is difficult to replace the continuity of Kirby Smart, who has coached for Saban even before the two arrived in Tuscaloosa together in 2007. But Pruitt already has been a member of the Alabama staff, knows how Saban operates and is a hard-nosed coach himself.

It remains to be seen on the field, but Alabama’s defense should be just fine next season without Smart.