AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide yells to his offense during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 27, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Tennessee now looking to pluck away one of Nick Saban's top assistants

Will Tennessee finally land a head coach?

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as a top candidate for the head coaching position at Tennessee, sources confirmed to Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman.

According to Feldman's sources, new UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer is campaigning for a "disciplinarian" coach "who can bring a more hard-nosed physical style to the program."

The Vols have also reportedly considered Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and SMU head coach Chad Morris, who is reportedly expected to be named the next head coach at Arkansas.

Pruitt, an Alabama alum, has served as the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator during the past two seasons after having previously held the same position at Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013), where he helped lead the Seminoles to a national championship.

The 43-year-old assistant had also previously worked for the Tide as a defensive assistant from 2007-12 and as a graduate assistant in 1997, as well as a high school assistant throughout the state of Alabama from 1998-2006.