Once Jeremy Pruitt’s name became the focus of Tennessee’s search, many wondered how the Alabama assistant would handle his duties as defensive coordinator considering the Tide are set to make another Playoff run in the coming weeks.
“I think so. Jeremy is a very loyal guy. He doesn’t want to leave his team with a championship on the line,” Suttles said on the air.
It has been suggested that Tennessee wants Pruitt to leave Alabama immediately and work full-time in Knoxville, while Nick Saban would like Pruitt to finish out the season as the Tide hope to bring home another national championship. In the past, coaches like Kirby Smart, Tom Herman and Lane Kiffin have stayed on to coach during Playoff runs despite taking head coaching positions, although it should be noted that Kiffin was fired in the middle of Alabama’s run last season.
One complication to the process this season is the new signing day period. Recruits will have the ability to sign letter of intents on Dec. 20 thru Dec. 22 for the first time. That rule has not been in place in the past. While Pruitt could still recruit for Tennessee and coach for Alabama, as the other coaches mentioned above all managed to do, there would be a time conflict during the Dec. 15-17 weekend: Tennessee is scheduled to host recruits and Alabama is scheduled to begin practice for the Playoff.
Following that period, the NCAA goes into a recruiting dead period, so Pruitt’s coaching at Alabama would not get in the way of Tennessee’s recruiting efforts.
During the program, Suttles was asked his opinion on who would ultimately replace Pruitt when he does eventually leave Alabama for good.
“Leader in the clubhouse is Tosh Lupoi,” according to the Tide Sports writer. “Nick Saban will do everything in his power to keep him,” Suttles added.
He also speculated that Mel Tucker, Kevin Steele, Kevin Sherrer and Todd Grantham will be names Saban is likely to consider.