Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt has been hired as Florida State's new defensive coordinator, the school announced on Thursday. This is not unexpected, as it had already been reported, but FSU made it official. Pruitt becomes just the third defensive coordinator in the last 28 years at FSU and replaces Mark Stoops who was named head coach at the University of Kentucky.
“I’m very excited to add Jeremy to our staff,” Fisher said in a prepared statement. “He brings a lot to the table. He’s one of the bright young coaches in college football. He’s done an outstanding job at Alabama and in the past as a great high school coach. He’s also a good recruiter, but most importantly of all, he’s a great person. I’m really looking forward to him coming to Florida State and helping us to continue achieving the success that we’ve had and will continue to have. We’re very fortunate to be adding him to our program.”
On the surface, this looks like a good hire for FSU. Pruitt has developed a reputation as a solid recruiter, he has ties to the Mobile, Ala., area. It's also a chance for him to get coordinator experience at a big-time program. Both FSU and Pruitt should benefit from this move, but he has big shoes to fill.
“This is a great opportunity for me to join another one of the top college football programs in the country and take over as defensive coordinator for one of the best defenses out there,” Pruitt said, according to the release. “I really appreciate coach Fisher and his staff in welcoming me to the Seminole family. I’ve enjoyed my time at Alabama and am grateful to coach Saban and my Crimson Tide family for their support in preparing me as I begin the next chapter in my coaching career.”
An excerpt from the release:
Pruitt, 38, has spent the last three seasons directing one of the best defensive backfields in the country for one of the nation’s best defenses. Since Pruitt has coached the secondary at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has ranked in the top 10 in pass efficiency defense and top 15 in pass defense in all three seasons while also ranking in the top five in total defense and scoring defense. Pruitt also has been recognized as a tremendous recruiter. He was named as “National Recruiter of the Year” by 247Sports.com last year in helping Alabama land the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.
“Jeremy did an outstanding job for us and the opportunity for him to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State is well deserved,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said. “We always want our coaches to grow and advance in the profession and Jeremy has worked very hard through the years to earn this opportunity and put himself in this situation. We appreciate all that he has done to contribute to the success we’ve had at Alabama and wish him the best in his new role.”
Pruitt has made an impact in Tuscaloosa his last two seasons. In 2012, Alabama ranks No. 6 in pass defense yielding just 166.23 yards per game and No. 8 nationally in pass efficiency defense (101.56) while also leading the nation in total defense (246.00 ypg), rushing defense (79.77 yards per game) and ranking second in scoring defense (10.69 points per game). In 2011, Alabama not only led the nation in pass defense (111.46 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (83.69 ypg), but the Crimson Tide led the nation in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense on its way to winning the BCS National Championship.