Why Jeremy Pruitt should not coach at Alabama in the CFB Playoffs
As the deal between Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee is now complete on Thursday, December 7, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and the remaining staff at Alabama continue to be dialed in on recruiting.
There are talks currently that Pruitt will remain on staff at Alabama through the playoffs and I’ll explain in the next few paragraphs why that does not seem like such a great idea. Pruitt who has been Alabama’s defensive coordinator since 2016 and has rightfully earned every ounce of this new job at Tennessee simply must go once the deal is finalized.
While the past does not equal the future, let’s rewind to the 2016 season when Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was close to taking the offensive coordinator position at LSU continued to coach at Alabama through the playoffs into the Peach Bowl semifinal against Washington, then was let go by the Alabama on January 2, just days before Alabama played in the National Title game against Clemson. The situation was more than distracting.
Now Rewind to the 2015 season when then Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was hired as the head coach at Georgia in early December. That time things worked out for both parties as Smart stayed on with Alabama through the college football playoffs and Alabama won the National Title defeating Clemson 45-40.
While Pruitt has not shown signs at all of being a drama queen or a troll on social media, the 2016 and 2015 season did not have a National Signing Day on December 20. As voted on by the NCAA coaches, this season, there will be two National Signing Days, the first in late December and the second on February 7, 2018.
Having Pruitt on-board could really hurt Alabama in recruiting and let's face it, Alabama needs all hands on deck going into this vital time of recruiting. According to Andrew Bone of BamaInsider.com Pruitt is the lead recruiter for Brenton Cox a Rivals100 defensive end that just decommitted from Ohio State, JJ Peterson a Rivals100 linebacker and a very strong Alabama lean, and also the lead recruiter for Jacob Copeland the four-star receiver out of Pensacola, Florida that the Gators and Alabama are currently battling for.
While it’s likely that Pruitt would remain a positive in the locker room with the current players and coaches, the question is: how can he be making last pitch efforts to recruits from the Class of 2018 to stay at Tennessee or to join the Vols just days before the first signing day and still remain 100% locked in to focusing and preparing the Alabama defense to face No. 1 Clemson at the same time?
It comes down to can Pruitt remain 100% focused on Alabama and it’s obvious with the first National Signing Day along with putting together a staff at Tennessee, this is not possible, thus the best option for Pruitt and Alabama at this point is to part ways and see each other again on October 20, 2018, at Neyland Stadium.