NASHVILLE, Tenn. — National Signing Day has come and gone and now the attention turns to spring practice. But it is clear that Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is ready to play some games.
Pruitt and some of his coaches spoke at National Signing Day ceremonies in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. Tennessee fans donned their orange shirts and hats and came out to greet the new coaching staff.
Pruitt spoke to a full room at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Thursday with downtown Nashville as a backdrop. He talked about the importance of relationships in recruiting.
The Vols have signed 20 prospects in the Class of 2018. That class ranks 20th in the country, according to the 247Sports composite.
There have been some conversations about how this past season’s 4-8 record affected recruiting — not to mention the coaching search that turned into a national laughingstock.
The Vols football program is in need of some positive national news. Pruitt told media members before his appearance that the celebrations are good, but he’s more focused on trying to win games.
“Probably the best PR we got is winning football games in the fall,” Pruitt said. “I can come here and these folks can like me. We can talk and all that. Come this fall or next fall, it doesn’t matter how much time I spend here. So, I should probably spend most of my time on things that’ll help us win football games.”
Pruitt comes from Alabama. He coached at Florida State and Georgia before coaching defense for the Crimson Tide. This means he has never spent much time around a losing program.
Tennessee has put its trust in a man whose background has been geared toward winning football games. Pruitt isn’t a public relations guy, and that’s fine.
He knows the only thing people will judge him on is his team’s performance on Saturdays in the fall.