Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee’s New Year’s resolutions.
Tennessee heads into the new year with a new football coach in Jeremy Pruitt who has impressed in less than a month on the job. He has turned around Tennessee’s recruiting class, which looked dangerously close to becoming a lost cause. He’ll be coaching Monday in the College Football Playoff semifinals as Alabama’s defensive coordinator.
Tennessee fans are happy to have 2017 in the rear-view mirror and are ready for more promising days.
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Pruitt is now the leading man for a program whose fans are ready to return to national prominence. The Vols haven’t won an SEC East title in a decade and are coming off its first eight-loss season in school history.
Here are three New Year’s resolutions for Tennessee in 2018.
Keep supplying hope
Pruitt has done a good job making Tennessee fans believe in him. The coaching search turned into a bit of a national joke, but the Vols might have found a rising coaching star.
This being Pruitt’s first head coaching gig, there will come a time to scrutinize him and the team. For now, after last season, it’s a breath of fresh air for Tennessee fans to believe once again.
Don’t settle in recruiting
Pruitt has come in and begun targeting some of the top players in the country. Recruits such as cornerback Olaijah Griffin and wide receiver Jacob Copeland could be immediate difference-makers if they come to Rocky Top.
Tennessee already has signed players who will make a difference next season, including tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson.
These top targets with no natural ties to Tennessee are not players who usually end up with the Vols. Pruitt isn’t afraid of that trend, though. He’s going after top recruits who can raise the ceiling on the program.
Pruitt has shown he can grab the interest of top-tier prospects. If he can turn the interest into commitments, then look out for what Pruitt can accomplish.
Find a solid strength and conditioning coach
This will be the Vols’ third strength and conditioning coach in three seasons. This one presumably will stick around a bit longer.
There haven’t been any concrete rumors about who will be hired at the position, but it will be critical. The Vols have struggled injuries the past two seasons and at times looked smaller than their SEC opponents.
The right hire could help raise the trajectory of the team.
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