Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt shares plans to elevate Vols football program
Posted by Mike Griffith on Wednesday, January 10, 2018
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The groundwork has been laid for talented receiver Jauan Jennings to return to the Tennessee football team, but new Vols’ coach Jeremy Pruitt made it clear no decision has been made at this time.
Jennings, who was dismissed from the Tennessee program on Nov. 22 after a profanity-filled rant on social media, has met with Vols’ athletic director Phillip Fulmer in regard to a potential return to the team.
“From my standpoint i know Jauan has reached out to Coach Fulmer and I know they met, and I actually reached out to him because I felt like with him talking to Coach Fulmer I should do that,” Pruitt said at his Wednesday press conference in Knoxville. “There will be a time, probably in the next couple of days, where me and him may possibly sit down and see where things are at.”
Tennessee’s 2017 hopes took a significant hit last season when Jennings suffered a fractured wrist in the season-opening 42-41 double-overtime win over Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The injury was thought to be of the season-ending variety, and Jennings stopped attending practices while focusing on his studies.
The week of the Vols’ final regular season game against Vanderbilt, however, Jennings came out to practice and lobbied to take snaps in the wildcat package as a quarterback. The request was denied, and Jennings went berserk on his Instagram account, calling the coaches “snakes” and attributing the team’s struggles to the leadership instead of the injuries and lack of talent.
Jennings had entered the season looking to show how much he had grown and matured off the field, ready to assume a leadership position in the Vols’ young receivers corps.
Jennings was the most proven star on offense, a tough 6-foot-3, 210-pound competitor who brought a physical presence to the pass game and the potential for game-breaking plays.
Indeed, it was Jennings who hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass in Tennessee’s 38-28 win over Florida, a game the Vols trailed 21-3 at halftime in 2016.
Jennings struck again at Georgia, out-leaping four Bulldogs’ defenders to grab a 43-yard TD pass from Josh Dobbs to lift Tennessee to a 34-31 win and a Top 10 ranking.
The Vols’ missed that leaping ability and toughness in losses to Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky, unable to convert in the sort of red zone situations Jennings has shown he could dominate.
Tennessee beat writers highlight Jeremy Pruitt’s football press conference
Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Wednesday, January 10, 2018
SEC Country exclusive stories on Jeremy Pruitt from College Football Playoff in New Orleans and Atlanta:
- Jeremy Pruitt delivers title to Alabama, exits with Vols on his mind
- Alabama legend predicts success for Jeremy Pruitt, return to Tuscaloosa
- New Tennessee coach ready to ‘finish this thing off’ at Alabama
- Jeremy Pruitt reveals distinctive features of defensive blueprint
- Tim Tebow says Jeremy Pruitt marches to beat of his own drum
- WATCH: Alabama players say there’s more to Jeremy Pruitt than Xs and Os
- WATCH: Pruitt shares Tennessee early signing class strategy
- WATCH: Alabama star defensive lineman says Pruitt pushes right buttons
- WATCH: Clemson coordinators reveal Pruitt defensive characteristics
- WATCH: Pruitt’s Tennessee talk limited, but meaningful
- WATCH: Super Bowl assistant, Tide OC has high praise for Jeremy Pruitt
- WATCH: Can Pruitt’s defense finally slow down Clemson?
- Pruitt’s reasons for coaching Alabama go beyond title chase
- WATCH: Nick Saban shares rise of Tennessee coach Pruitt
- PODCAST: Jeremy Pruitt’s understated nature is unmistakable
- WATCH: Jeremy Pruitt: No interest in talking about dominant defense
- Jeremy Pruitt’s defense smothered Clemson, keyed Alabama win
- Alabama stock report shows Jeremy Pruitt rising after Sugar Bowl win
- Tennessee a sleeping giant with Jeremy Pruitt as coach