Posted: 2:52 pm Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Pruitt’s one great year a risk worth taking for Georgia 

By Jeff Schultz

Jeremy Pruitt coached one of the nation's top defenses in his lone season at Florida State.

Jeremy Pruitt coached one of the nation’s top defenses in his lone season at Florida State.

Home run.

The mixing of sports metaphors notwithstanding, that was my initial reaction when our Chip Towers broke the news that Georgia was hiring Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator.

Now, it should be noted that Pruitt’s hiring comes with some risk. He has had a meteoric rise in the coaching profession. He was coaching high school football only seven years ago (Hoover, Ala.). He followed that with six years at Alabama under Nick Saban (three years as director of player development, three as defensive backs coach). Then came one year as the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

One. Just one. But it was a great one.

The Seminoles won the national championship. They finished ranked No. 3 in total defense, No. 1 in pass defense and No. 1 in scoring defense.

What makes this hire so shocking is not that Georgia coach Mark Richt was interested in Pruitt (even if he likely was the second choice to Alabama’s Kirby Smart). The remarkable thing is that Florida State let him go. He reportedly was making about $500,000 per year at FSU. Georgia was prepared to offer Pruitt or any candidate at least the $850,000 annually that they were paying the thankfully departed Todd Grantham. But why would FSU not bring him up to that level. Was the school really that cash-strapped?

I’ll have more on the Pruitt hiring in a full column to be posted later on MyAJC.com. But in short, this should be a significant step forward for Georgia, which returns 10 of 11 starters on defense next season.

The cyber floor is now yours.

304 comments
Dman
Dman

Good points Jeff, if this doesn't work, we need to hire Kirby Smart as our head coach...

JaySly
JaySly

best asst coaching hire in the nation!  Dogs pay big money--get the top coordinator.  fsu needs to quit going cheap.

Dawg350
Dawg350

We are getting better baby! What a great hire! I think next year we will allow 21 points a game! That's 8 points a game better than this year! I think his second year we will be the best defense in the sec!

shep2121
shep2121

Boy, is Petrino the Great getting screwed!  WORD KARMA.

Jeffreynolds5
Jeffreynolds5

Word from those in the know in Tally are that Mr. Pruitt's young fiance gave him an ultimatum because he has a weakness for young coeds in Tally.  Call it a rumor if you want, but those very well connected to the program seem to believe it.  Also other coaches wives didn't like his fiance...if she thinks there is less temptation in Athens, she's in a for a rude awakening.  Also, this is a huge roll of the dice for Richt...FSU's defense was loaded with NFL talent.  Georgia's not as much this year....If there isn't instant success, suffice it to say that the unrealistic impatient fans and UGA alumni will cut Pruitt no slack.  If he is succesful, then he'll be around for 2 years tops...either because a head job will open up, or his extracurricular activities will catch up with him...

ATL89
ATL89

I am going to throw an example out there for you all, look at what his defense did against Clemson this year, and look at what Grantham's defense did against Clemson this year, enough said...... Also, a young defense is just another Grantham excuse! Shultz, he deserves every bit of criticism that you're throwing his way, FIRE AWAY!!!!

Armydawg
Armydawg

Good photo but let's get Pruitt in real Red and black.  Time to get to work, there is a lot to be done and a short time to do it.  Good luck JP, welcome to the DAWG Nation!!!

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

"Thankfully departed". Now that's rich. One has to wonder what Grantham did/said to Schultz to deserve such endless bashing. Not that I'm complaining, at all.


I love a smart@$$ sportswriter

JaySly
JaySly

With pruitt, the nasty Dog D will dominate the SEC!  With a top offense coming back, Ga's winning the SEC title!

SinceVince
SinceVince

We have now part of the puzzle in place... Folks there is more work to be done on the offensive side.  We need to somehow get those extra few yards instead of settling for field goals. S&C coach needs to step  it up!  BOO BOO needs to mix it up more and quit being so predictable in play calling.  Pruitt and Richt needs to bring back Warren Belin to teach these guys how to make tackles.  More work to be done in this program.. Keep Demanding Better!

DrPhill
DrPhill

Pruitt looks better than "Mad Dog" Grantham, who was all bluster and little substance.

RedandBlackDAWG
RedandBlackDAWG

He has a good pedigree for sure, and has tutored under some good coaches. I wonder though how long he will be with UGA, before a school comes looking for a HC and he goes that way.

If you need a relatively fast replacement and you want one that has enjoyed success, you couldn't ask for much more though.

I would think he probably didn't care all that much working under the HC at FSU, since I have read he is a big micro manager. You can't argue with success, but the new coach has a big task ahead of him, trying to turn the UGA defense into a solid unit, especially on passing downs. 

Good luck coach.

unfairlybannedforlife
unfairlybannedforlife

Gee, ThomasBrown, do you really think anyone reads any of your posts through?

Brevity being the sole of wit, we shudder to contemplate what that means for some people...like those sitting in their bedrooms waiting for Mom to get breakfast ready hitting keys on a keyboard...seemingly at random.

unfairlybannedforlife
unfairlybannedforlife

Hope he has as much success at UGA as Grantham.  Athens seems to bring out the worst for all those 'top 10' players and coaches.

Could be the water. But probably the environment.

LADawg
LADawg

Great for the Dawgs! Great for CMR! Bad for me! I'm eating crow. I said yesterday that the only way Coach Richt would make a big splash is when he jumped in the pool after spring practice.

This splash is huge! Can't wait for spring practice! Go Dawgs!

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

Posted by GTBob at5:42 p.m. Jan. 14, 2014

"I would take GTs current defensive coordinator over an unproven lottery ticket guy any day."

____________________________________

Wouldn't that be GT's brainiac ? Plural ? Now, God Help us all, there are plural # 36 best colleges acting like you are # 1 Princeton, or Harvard ?

Ted Roof is considerably older than Jeremy Pruitt, while Ted Roof has had 14 jobs in 17 years coaching including LEAVING Georgie tek to take the same job at Duke.Ouch !That is the same Duke who 3 years' later Ted Roof became head coach of, to the glee of you Georgie tek fans (both of you) in here then too only to see Ted Roof 6-45 as head coach Duke never to be considered for head coach then, thus bumbling around job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job to job.

6-45 Ted Roof is NOT beginning to be head coach material, and not 39 like Jeremy Pruitt but 50.

4 wins in 4 years as head coach then FIRED by Duke.Ouch.

What do you have to do to be fired by Duke in football ?

He managed it.

Ted Roof was hired by Louisville for example for a whole entire month in 2008.

Ted Roof led Auburn's defense finishing the 2011 regular season # 81 Total Defense in the nation, allowing 408 yards per game and # 78 in Scoring Defense, the worst Auburn defense in many years.Their 8-5 season 2011 with Ted Roof's horrible defense 2011 set the stage for last year's 3-9 and firing the staff for 2012.

Why Georgie tek fans want to talk about child molestation is anyone's guess.

January 2012, Ted Roof was hired at Penn State.July 2012 the NCAA put Penn State on NCAA Probation in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, as Georgie tek is on NCAA Probation all of this year 2014 again, for example.

A year ago today 2013 Ted Roof was hired back by Georgie tek, where he played linebacker before this sojourning wandering coach moved around like a nomad, including especially quitting at Georgie tek to take the same job same position at Duke for God's Sake.

Talk about Ouch.

Against his only Rival even mentioned in its fight song, Ted Roof allowed a back-up suspect weak arm quarterback with no experience to step in and torch Georgie tek for 300 yards passing and 5 for 5 in Red Zone Opportunities against Ted Roof.

For the season Ted Roof beat only Duke when Duke was not ranked at game time and never did beat a ranked team 2013.Duke did not have their QB for the game against Georgie tek, either.The rest of the Georgie tek "season" 2013 was 7-6 including specifically 0-2 vs The SEC, while Georgie tek fans brag somehow of their prowess against The SEC.Really would like to sit down and have a debate with you numbnutts on that point as well.You guys are beyond stupid those whom you send in here to discuss football with us.

Ted Roof 2013 Season :

# 83 Passing Defense as demonstrated by weak arm no experience back-up QB 300 yds

# 79 Team Passing Efficiency Defense as demonstrated by backup QB 5 for 5 Red Zone vs you

# 85 Turnover Margin 1 interception our backup & 2 by us vs your best player quit team after game

# 99 Fourth Down Defense as demonstrated backup weak arm 1st game QB 100% vs Ted Roof

# 51 First Down Defense Georgie tek as demonstrated by Todd Gurley II 1st down OT TD, TD

By stark contrast to Todd Gurley II rushing for a 1st Down in the 1st OT on 2 carries, then the TD, and rushing the ball only once for all 4 plays by UGA in both overtimes combined all 4 by just only Todd Gurley II, Ted Roof could not figure out to even consider keying the defense on Todd Gurley II ?

Utterly dumfounding.

Then, your best football player on your team

Vad Lee by stark contrast, throws an incomplete pass to Darren Waller to end the game.

After the game, Vad Lee quits Georgie tek after also losing to Ole Miss in your 8th bowl loss of the current 9 Georgie tek bowl games.

Please brag to me about how many bowl games Georgie tek has been to, or how many you won.

Or, how great Georgie tek is compared to The SEC.

Or, how smart you guys are.

Or, how Georgie tek # 36 best college is what ?Nearly # 1 Princeton or Harvard.

Or, how Ted Roof is better defensive coordinator and how you sit there contemplating your navel about how to word this that Jeremy Pruitt is the nation’s # 1 college football story this day, and it for The University of Georgia whose fans on a daily basis come in here and rip you a new one every single time you open your dumb mouths to switch feet.

This for a team who controls the clock by running every play so that the Defensive Statistics look better.

Imagine how bad they would look if you didn't run the ball every down ?

Thus, 7-6 and 0-2 vs SEC you brag of your prowess over, despite # 6 best rushing attack.

_____________________________________

Posted by GTBob at5:42 p.m. Jan. 14, 2014

"I would take GTs current defensive coordinator over an unproven lottery ticket guy any day."

_____________________________________

Your defensive coordinator is not in the same damn ballpark as the defensive coordinator we hired.

$ 1.65 million dollar 3-year contract for Ted Roof, and this what he produced ?

Sounds like you might need to study that which you pop-off about on the Internet before opening mouth, switching feet.

Make him head coach, please ? His career speaks for itself as coach, this season especially, and against us even more especially.


Ted Roof did not expect us to rely on Todd Gurley II in either overtime when he ran every play ?

Good Lord !

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

So Tech has cancelled their future home-and-home series with Alabama, South Carolina, and BYU but picked up Mercer in 2016...LOL.  State of the football team indeed.

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

So moss fire who,s your team now that your too good for Uga?

This should be good for a few hoots

mossfire
mossfire

I was a Georgia fan for many years. The UGA football program might get lucky and win big someday but it will be in spite of weak support from the University and fans who are for the most part God awful dumb obnoxious drunks.


The old UGA fans were much better but many of the new remind me of trailer park Meth heads looking for the next hit. Pruitt is the new hit of Meth. The program has a head coach that is just plain dumb and an offensive coordinator that is even dumber.


Pruitt made a bid mistake in taking this job. I feel bad for him. 3 and out and you have to hold or a returned kickoff and you are down 7 again.


I have more respect for Kirby Smart each day.



Watsonone
Watsonone

GREAT hire … now maybe we can have some organized defense with all this first rate talent we have!

DforDawgs
DforDawgs

Kirby Smart was offered first. 1.6 mil for 5 years and given the farm BUT ....he wanted a no buyout clause if he got a HC job in the first 2 years and this is the biggie....he wanted to be told he would be the next head coach. That was the deal breaker. CMR immediately called Pruitt and worked the deal by lunchtime.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

We have a great new defensive coordinator and you guys still have Paul Johnson. Hahahahahahaha

keendaddy
keendaddy

Good to see my Dawggie's happy again! The vast majority seems to be in favor of Coach Pruitt's hire and what it signifies for the Dawgs program. Good move to Coach Richt and our AD McGarity!

keendaddy
keendaddy

Being a nerd must not be contagious, you must have to work on it. I know some really cool Techies, but most nerds in our blogs are simple minded trolls with brain damage...

NCDawg
NCDawg

Can't wait to hear what the national pundits have to say about this tomorrow... there is no way they can pan it.  The National perception of Georgia just went up considerably.  Snatching a National Championship winning DC from the odds on favorites for next year, is a major coup.

Jeffreynolds5
Jeffreynolds5

@FoSho they matched the offer...Pruitt didn't leave for money...he left because of non football issues...and if he keeps doing what he was doing non football related in AThens...theose issues will haunt him in Athens as well...

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@Jeffreynolds5


Right you are!!!!!!!!!


UGA's defense "not as much this year". UGA had 8 - 10 freshmen starting/considerable playing time!!!


Only ONE departing SENIOR!!!!!!!  Ten starters return!!!!!!!!!!!!

96JB
96JB

@Jeffreynolds5Richt could of pulled a guy from a Temp Agency and seen an improvement, just say'n

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@unfairlybannedforlife


You don't appear to be many steps ahead of Thomas Brown so back off a little!!!!!!!


Good one on breakfast and keyboard though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mossfire
mossfire

@almmanduane75 I think I will pass from now on on college football in general.


I graduated from Georgia State University so I might follow them.. Oouch...  or Tech maybe.


Go Braves and Falcons... I very much like Arthur Blank. The Falcons will approve.


Anyway, Gregg Allman feel about the same as me about college football. See his book. I used to be a big fan.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@mossfire


Sounds like you may be an expert on "DUMB".  Sorry to lose a longtime UGA fan(your words, not mine) but obviously the average IQ of Dawg Nation rose simultaneously with your departure!!!!!!!!!!!!


You have "more respect for Kirby Smart each day".  Are you not aware that Bammy is currently carrying a 2-game losing streak????????

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@mossfire


I am sorry, are you talking about the same Georgie tek who lost to us 12 of current 13 years this dumb coach has played you ?


And, you call him dumb ?


How dumb does that make you to lose to this dumb coach 12 of 13 years ?

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@keendaddy


Kingdaddy:


You should apologize to "simple minded trolls with brain damage" everywhere! How would you like to be compared the nerd trolls????????

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

LOL...when you need someone to feel good about your program you have problems. C'mon Man

keendaddy
keendaddy

Nothing in your blogs, might as well celebrate with us!

NCDawg
NCDawg

@wreckmaniacexposing how truly pitiful they are... only small insignificant people troll and try to ruin other people's celebrations.  I'm sure you are so proud of yourself... that's good because no one else ever will be.

Dman
Dman

Playing a bunch of rookies sounds like the Falcons

RollingTide
RollingTide

@Snagglepuss@mossfire Only in snagglepussinboot's world does a 2 game losing streak negate the 3 NC's that Kirby has helped win.  I think you need to go play on one of the chick blogs on the AJC...you have NO business discussing football with the men.


With that being said...Pruitt is a great hire.

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

@PantherDawg The 1.6 mil was never offered. The head coach in waiting is a thing of the past because the NCAA stepped in and stated that a HCIW would lose his ability to recruit the way other assistant coaches can therefore its not done anymore therefore handicapping CKS. Lots of rumors about Smart swirling around concerning the UGA search but Smart wasn't seriously in the running

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

@keendaddy They had their state of the football team address today. They must not have been interested in what the AD had to say. The bigger news is here. If you cant think of anything good to say about your team, rip someone else.....makes'em feel better

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@keendaddy


Go KINGDADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                 Go KINGDADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You da man!!!!!!!!!!!!

RollingTide
RollingTide

@Snagglepuss@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Yea those losses were far worse than say......Vandy?


I know I know your whole team was injured, refs called everything against you, Mike Slive ordered the loss, etc.

keendaddy
keendaddy

J.D.Hogg,

Nothings changed in Nerdsville...