breaking news

FOLLOW LIVE: Texas football hosts Orange-White Spring Game

WATCH: Alabama football players say there’s more to Jeremy Pruitt than Xs and Os


NEW ORLEANS — Jeremy Pruitt isn’t a man of public emotion, but the outgoing Alabama defensive coordinator might have had a tear in his eye when asked about how much he cares about his players.

“I have a special bond for the guys that are here,” Pruitt said in the days leading up to the Crimson Tide’s 24-6 victory over Clemson in College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl. “It’s not a four-year commitment to me — it’s a lifetime commitment. I’m in this business for the players.”

RELATED: Jeremy Pruitt’s stock on the rise after dominant Alabama win over Clemson

Pruitt was hired as Tennessee’s coach on Dec. 7, with the provision he be allowed to complete the season with Alabama. Crimson Tide stars Rashaan Evans and Minkah Fitzpatrick said they were relieved to learn that Pruitt would remain with Alabama through the postseason.

Alabama has finished No. 2 in the nation in total defense each of the past two seasons, and players say Pruitt’s relationships are a big reason for that statistic.

“He doesn’t just talk about Xs and Os every day,” Evans said. “He talks about our lives and what we’re going through, and a lot of those things play a part in going to practice each and every day. You have things that cloud your mind that are going on outside of football. It’s kind of hard to be able to practice on the high level we do practice on. For him to help us out with that, it makes us better players.”

Fitzpatrick said Pruitt has the sort of intangibles players look for in a football coach.

“One, it’s his passion. He brings a lot of fire and intensity to the team, and players love playing for him,” Fitzpatrick said. “He brings it week in and week out, and every game is like a national championship to him.

“He’s a great leader. Players love playing for him and listening to him. He knows the game. He played the game, and he’s been coached by some great coaches. He has all the assets to make a great head coach.”

No doubt, the players responded to Pruitt in their game Monday night against the Tigers, holding them to 188 total yards and just 6 points — their fewest in more than three years.

Evans said Pruitt’s abilities as game planner and personnel manager have everything to do with his future in Knoxville.

“He’s very intense, very hands on. He does a great job, and that’s why he’s going to Tennessee,” Evans said. “To be honest, I’m so happy for this man. He’s been through a lot of things. For him to have that chance now to pursue his lifelong goal, that’s amazing.”

More SEC Country exclusive stories about Jeremy Pruitt

The post WATCH: Alabama football players say there’s more to Jeremy Pruitt than Xs and Os appeared first on SEC Country.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Alabama football: MVPs, other award winners from A-Day and spring practice
Alabama football: MVPs, other award winners from A-Day and spring practice

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football concluded its spring practice with the Crimson team defeating the White team 24-12 in the A-Day spring game. Redshirt freshman quarterback Mac Jones and redshirt freshman placekicker Joseph Bulovas each shared the Dixie Howell Memorial Award (MVP of the A-Day Game). Jones finished the...
Jeremy Pruitt’s scalding opening statement: some Tennessee football players ‘flat-out quit’
Jeremy Pruitt’s scalding opening statement: some Tennessee football players ‘flat-out quit’

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jeremy Pruitt typically doesn’t give a very long opening statement at his press conferences, but Saturday was not typical. Tennessee’s new head coach arrived with a championship pedigree and championship expectations, and many of the Vols’ players fell short in the Orange and White...
Iowa fan trolls Iowa State with photoshopped photo after water tower announcement
Iowa fan trolls Iowa State with photoshopped photo after water tower announcement

On Friday, it was announced that the water tower northeast of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium will be featuring the Tigerhawk logo starting this fall. I mean, that’s just awesome. Who doesn’t like the Tigerhawk logo? Well, Iowa State fans in particular would be those that come to mind. Last season, Iowa defeated Iowa State in overtime in the...
2018 LSU spring game: Live blog, analysis from Tiger Stadium
2018 LSU spring game: Live blog, analysis from Tiger Stadium

BATON ROUGE, La. — As far as intrigue goes, the 2018 LSU spring game promises to be a rarity. The Tigers have open competitions at quarterback, running back and wide receiver under new offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger. Fans will get their first look at several players as well as the new-look offense. Not all of the intrigue is...
Alabama football: Many faces are different, but Tide’s excellence on defense endures
Alabama football: Many faces are different, but Tide’s excellence on defense endures

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — We’ll talk about the quarterbacks or coaching turnover or whatever else between now and August, but in the end, none of that will matter. The lone takeaway from Alabama football and its A-Day spring game is this: The Crimson Tide will once again field an elite defense. Alabama has won a national...
More Stories