Title: Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach
Prior Coaching Stops: Alabama (1997) Student Assistant, West Alabama (1999) DB coach, Alabama (2007-09) Director of Player Development, Alabama (2009-12) DB coach.
New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt epitomizes what head coach Jimbo Fisher was looking for in his recent coaching searches. Pruitt is a young, energetic coach, who has experience in the SEC and is hell to deal with on the recruiting trail. He has taken a fast rise to where he is now as just seven years ago; Pruitt was the defensive coordinator for Hoover High School. Then in 2007, Alabama head coach Nick Saban brought Pruitt on board his staff where he has remained until being plucked by Fisher. Pruitt has spent the majority of that time as the defensive backs coach and has a laundry list of NFL draft picks to show for it. Pruitt is a relentless recruiter who has received multiple awards from various mediums regarding that work. For the Crimson Tide, Pruitt mainly focused on recruiting the state of Alabama along with the northern portion of Florida.
It is unknown at this time exactly what Pruitt will aim to do with the Seminoles defense in his first season, but I expect them to make a slow transition to a 3-4 base defense. One of the reasons Saban hired Pruitt was because of his defensive philosophy, and the same goes for coach Fisher. Fisher often preaches how being multiple on both sides of the ball makes it that much harder for the opponent to prepare. With the personnel at FSU right now, I expect them to stay mostly in four-man fronts next season, but perhaps two years down the road, I think we will see the change.
Anyone who has worked with Pruitt praises his work ethic and football smarts', and all signs point to him being a successful coordinator. But, he has never done it at the big-time college football level, so the verdict is still out on him in that regard. However, the good news is he's surrounded by coaches that have been successful as a coordinator, which will give him some extra padding.
There's no question that Jimbo Fisher might have taken a gamble on hiring Pruitt, but there's also no reason to doubt Fisher in that regard. Fisher is one of the brightest football minds out there. Every coach that he has hired since being at FSU has either led to a promotion at another school, or been given a raise to stay at FSU. . Expect big things from Pruitt.