Former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt joining Giants staff

Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants are reportedly hiring former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Pruitt spent three seasons as the head coach at Tennessee before being abruptly fired this month due to recruiting violations. He went 16-19 in his three seasons and is looking toward the NFL as a way to continue his career.

FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman dropped a report Wednesday afternoon saying Pruitt was close to joining the New York Jets. That was then refuted, only for Feldman to later clarify and say the New York Giants are among those interested. The Jets seem to be out of the equation.

The Giants, however, are reportedly adding Pruitt.

Pruitt making the NFL jump at an odd time

Pruitt was fired on January 18 and may have the NFL as his only option based on his NCAA violations. He has never coached at the NFL level, but did spend time on the Alabama staff with current Giants head coach Joe Judge.

The former Volunteers head coach played defensive back in college and has been a defensive coach ever since. And even before being fired, it was clear his best role may be as a position coach.

Pruitt joining an NFL staff provides little to no distractions compared to him joining another college program, if he was even eligible to do so. He clearly showed enough as a defensive assistant to rise through the ranks and it may now come down to Judge taking a chance on his former colleague.

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Whether or not Pruitt deserves another job so soon is an entirely separate discussion. Fired coaches usually find work fast and this is a unique situation where rising up to the NFL may be the only option.