Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is willing to go the extra mile to land a recruit, even if it means going to the other side of the world.
In an article profiling his transition to his new job, ESPN‘s Chris Low detailed Pruitt’s last-minute recruiting efforts and attempt to salvage the Vols’ 2019 class.
“We gotta have players,” a sleep-deprived Pruitt told one coach as he scurried last minute to squeeze everything he could out of this first class.
The coach responded by asking Pruitt if he would go to Arizona to get him.
“I will go to dadgum China for him if he’s a player,” Pruitt shot back in his familiar Southern twang.
Though the article doesn’t specify the player, it could be top-ranked JUCO tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson, who Pruitt managed to sway away from Alabama during the early signing period.
It’s worth noting that the coach managed to out-recruit the Tide for Wood-Anderson despite finishing his defensive coordinator duties with the team prior to the College Football Playoff.
“Just as I will do here, I was going to finish what I started,” Pruitt said of finishing his duties at Alabama despite being hired by the Vols in December. “Tennessee will get that same dedication. It’s the way I believe in doing things.”
Tennessee finished with a No. 20 overall ranking in the 247Sports Team Composite, having landed several notable commits including wide receiver Alontae Taylor — who decommitted following former head coach Butch Jones’ termination — offensive lineman Jerome Carvin and linebacker J.J. Peterson, who favored Alabama prior to his hiring.
While it’s hardly enough to guarantee the Vols will contend in the SEC next season, it was an impressive finish given the class he inherited.
Additionally, his willingness to “go the extra mile” should be enough to keep Tennessee fans optimistic heading into his first season.