The Pruitt Center

Pruitt’s Recruiting Resume Gives Vols Plenty of Optimism

Pruitt’s Recruiting Resume Gives Vols Plenty of Optimism
Jake Tidwell

As Vol fans who watched Jeremy Pruitt speak at his opening press conference can attest to, there is simply something about him that makes you want to run through a wall. That passion is just one reason why he is lauded as one of the top recruiters in college football. Another big plus is the list of players he has recruited between Florida State, Georgia and Alabama. Pruitt has been the primary recruiter on some of the best players in the country, and has landed a good deal of them.

At Florida State, Pruitt was instrumental in landing Matthew Thomas, a 5-star outside linebacker from Miami. Thomas was the No. 8 player in the country and graded out at a 0.9957 on 247Sports.com. Over five years at Florida State, Thomas has started 33 games, racking up 188 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, a pick, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also provided fans with one of the best #SCNotTop10 moments of the 2017 season:

 

Pruitt’s biggest recruiting win at Florida State was Jalen Ramsey. Jalen Ramsey was a five-star cornerback who was the top player in the state of Tennessee. Over his three year career in Tallahassee, Ramsey made 180 tackles, 15.5 for loss, to go along with 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions. Ramsey was a two-time 1st Team All-ACC selection and a two-time AP 2nd Team All-American. It is clear that Pruitt made an impact on Ramsey, as he sent out this tweet when Jimbo Fisher left FSU:

 

 

That long statline led Ramsey to being selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he now comprises one of the top corner tandems in the league along with AJ Bouye. Ramsey shared 2015 Seminole defensive MVP honors with another Pruitt recruit, DeMarcus Walker.

A 4-star defensive end ranked 36th in the class of 2013, Walker started 40 games over four years for the Seminoles. His 28.5 career sacks and 45 tackles for loss both rank third in Florida State history. His senior year totals of 16.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss both also rank third for a single season at Florida State. This culminated in Walker being selected 51st overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 NFL draft after receiving First Team All-ACC, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-American honors.

At Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt’s biggest fish as the primary recruiter was Rashad Roundtree, a 4-star safety out of Evans, Georgia. Through three seasons, Roundtree has collected 12 tackles. Most of these came on special teams as he bounced between linebacker and safety to provide depth. He also pulled Rico McGraw out of Ensworth High School in Tennessee. Both were top 150 prospects nationwide according to 247Sports.com. McGraw actually left Georgia after the 2016 season to continue his career at Murray State.

Alabama is where Pruitt has found his greatest degree of recruiting success. Pruitt was the lead recruiter for Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Coming in as a 5-star athlete, Henry became one of Alabama’s most dominant rushers of this century. He tallied 3,876 scrimmage yards and 45 touchdowns in his career, including 2,218 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground in 2015 alone. Henry went on to become the second round pick of the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 NFL draft.

Mack Wilson was another Pruitt 5-star product. The linebacker out of Montgomery has appeared in 16 career games over his two seasons in Tuscaloosa and recorded 29 tackles. Wilson was forced out of the Crimson Tide lineup due to injury after he was primed to take on a larger role to end the season.

Linebackers and running backs appear to be Pruitt’s speciality. He was also the primary recruiter for TJ Yeldon, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson and CJ Mosley. All four of these players enjoyed success during their time as starters in Tuscaloosa. All four currently play in the NFL after being drafted over the past few years.

Even when he was not the primary recruiter, Jeremy Pruitt assisted in landing some of the nation’s top talent. He was the secondary recruiter in Alabama’s signing of Alex Leatherwood, a 5-star tackle out of Florida who was the highest-rated prospect Pruitt has ever recruited.

Pruitt also assisted in the recruitment of high school phenom Dylan Moses, who at one time was the No. 1 overall player in the 2017 class. He was instrumental in getting Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith’s commitments at Georgia.

With limited time before the early signing period and just a few months before the remainder of the class of 2018 signs, Pruitt doesn’t have long to make a recruiting impact on Rocky Top. However, he started quickly, gaining a re-commitment from in-state athlete Alontae Taylor, who most recruiting pundits consider one of the top 150 recruits in the country.

 

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