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December 16, 2012

Pruitt takes FSU position

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt has agreed to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State, multiple sources told Tidesports.com.

Recruiting Impact:

Does the Pruitt hire affect DeMarcus Walker's recruitment? Click here.

Pruitt is expected to continue coaching the Crimson Tide through the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7. He replaces Mark Stoops, who left FSU to take the head coaching position at Kentucky. Although Pruitt and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher have not worked together before, Fisher is a former assistant under UA coach Nick Saban.

There was no official release from either Alabama or Florida State on Sunday.

If Saban opts to fill Pruitt's role from within his staff, one option could be defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who now coaches inside linebackers. Smart coached Alabama's defensive backs for three years before moving to linebackers.

On Friday, Tidesports.com reported that Pruitt had an interview for the FSU position scheduled. Other reported candidates for the role included former Alabama assistant and Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Travis Jones, and Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

Pruitt was promoted by Saban from Director of Player Development to defensive backs coach in 2010. He is considered among the top recruiters on the Crimson Tide staff, and has strong recruiting ties close to FSU's Tallahassee (Fla.) campus in South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Pruitt, 38, was named the Southeastern Conference Recruiter of the Year by ESPN last year.

It is unclear what salary Pruitt will earn with the Seminoles. He earned $260,000 in 2012 at Alabama. Stoops earned $575,000 in his last year as FSU's defensive coordinator.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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