Colquitt County linebacker JJ Peterson commits to Vols

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The flip side to that was previous year with Lane Kiffin, who became so much of a distraction as he juggled preparing the Crimson Tide for the national title game against Clemson after being hired to be the head coach at Florida Atlantic, that Saban cut the offensive coordinator loose between the semifinals and championship round, handing play-calling duties over to Steve Sarkisian.

Pruitt was seen exiting an elevator on his way into his new coaching gig Tuesday afternoon.

During press conferences for the College Football Playoffs, Pruitt made clear his only hat on the recruiting trail was a 'Power T'.

The tweet has received feedback from thousands of users. He saw Smart juggle both roles at Georgia two years ago, and Tide defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley said Pruitt has handled the situation "like a pro".

Pruitt's defense allowed an 80-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter but otherwise shut down Georgia's potent offense after halftime in Alabama's 26-23 overtime victory Monday, marking the fifth time he's been associated with a national championship team.

"What was interesting, (recently) we're in a (Tide) staff meeting and they're starting to set up calls for (Nick) Saban", Pruitt said.

The new coach was named National Recruiter of the Year in 2012 by 247Sports and has coached 34 NFL Draft picks and 11 first-team All-Americans.

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Most notably, however, is that during the offseason Tennessee hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its head coach.

He might want to figure out how to retain some coordinators, however, if he wants to make winning these national championship games a little easier again.

"I don't think he's exhausted at all", Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans said. "Right now, they don't know me and I don't know them". Pruitt also was Florida State's defensive coordinator in 2013 and was on Alabama's staff during the Crimson Tide's 2009, 2011 and 2012 title runs.

The Vols signed 14 student-athletes in the December Early Signing Period, including seven or eight who will be early enrollees and in class for the current semester that began on Wednesday. "I told the players last night, there are no flawless coaches, there are no ideal players and there never will be, so we're always learning". In his mind, the hardest challenge has been accepting the fact there are only 24 hours in a day.

"If you ain't recruiting 365 days a year, somebody is", Pruitt said. "We've got to get (big-time) guys". "So usually we can kind of finish each other's sentences".

"That was a late game as it was, and knowing the next day where I'm going and I've been waiting on this moment to get it going, it's nearly kind of chomping at the bit", he said.

"We'll either be happy in Knoxville, or Kirby will be happy in Athens", Pruitt said. "Everybody was all smiles, they always are the first meeting. And I think that's sometimes a lost art in some organizations". "Kirby", he said, "did as good a job as anybody ever did for us".

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