Georgia assistant Kevin Sherrer reportedly candidate for jobs at Alabama, Tennessee

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Pruitt, who has never been a head coach before, interviewed with new Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer twice this week and quickly emerged as a favorite once Fulmer took control of the coaching search.

The Rainsville, Alabama native was a finalist for the 2013 and 2016 Broyles Award, given each year to the best college football assistant coach. A year later as the defensive coordinator it was Pruitt who successfully figured out how to stop then-Nease (Fla.) quarterback Tim Tebow.

Since taking over as the leading man for the Crimson Tide defense, Alabama has ranked first (2017) and second (2016) in total defense.

With Pruitt gone, one possible replacement would be Tosh Lupoi who is in his third year as Alabama's outside linebackers coach. Like Kirby Smart two years ago, Pruitt is expected to juggle both roles - Vols head coach and Alabama DC - during the Tide's playoff run.

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Born in Rainsville, Alabama, Pruitt has lived and worked in the southeast for most of his life.

Possible Tennessee recruits have already begun coming out in support of joining Pruitt's team. Pruitt and Sherrer also coached together at Hoover High School from 2005-06 when Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator and Sheerer as a defensive assistant. However, the search for a new coach had been so unsuccessful that it was even jokingly rumored North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un even turned down the job. But Schiano, who was once the head coach at Rutgers and with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, received a fierce backlash from Tennessee fans, which forced the Volunteers to back out of the deal. Currie also flirted with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and N.C. State's Dave Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach before being replaced by Fulmer.

According to Football Scoop, Pruitt has had discussions with former Vol and current Colorado State cornerbacks coach Terry Fair about joining his staff at Tennessee.