Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Former Florida State Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt Inexplicably Leaves for Georgia
Jeremy Pruitt instantly made his mark at Florida State by being the mastermind behind one of the most prolific defenses in NCAA history.
Armed with veteran leaders such as defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and linebacker Christian Jones, a deep and talented defensive line, a fiery and experienced staff, and loads of gifted athletes across the board, Pruitt's defense ranked No. 2 in total defense, No. 1 in scoring defense, and No. 3 in turnover margin, all of which contributed to the Seminoles' perfect season.
News broke earlier today that Pruitt has left FSU after one season and has joined Mark Richt as the new defensive coordinator at Georgia. The story came as a shock to Seminole fans who expected Pruitt to stay in Tallahassee for at least another season.
Pruitt was making $500,000 a year at FSU, and was expecting a raise this upcoming summer. His new salary at UGA will be $850,000 per year. It's unsure whether Florida State tried to match the offer. Considering the job is a lateral move, Pruitt's actions speak volumes – "cash grab" comes to mind.
The Seminoles return an abundance of talent on the defensive side of the ball, most of which saw plenty of playing time due to blowouts. Pruitt leaves a team prime to make another national title run for a defense that ranked 45th in total defense and 10th in the SEC in scoring defense.
Recruiting ought to be a concern for FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. Pruitt, a former National Recruiter of the Year, may try to sway some of the current Florida State commitments to Georgia, almost certainly leaving FSU's staff scrambling to remedy the situation.
The departure leaves the 'Noles without a defensive coordinator, but the popular replacement may already be on FSU's staff. Sal Sunseri, the Seminoles defensive end's coach, should be the favorite to replace Pruitt. Sunseri has experience as a defensive coordinator while at Tennessee in 2012, although that was the worst year defensively in Volunteer history.
FSU linebacker's coach and special team's coordinator Charles Kelly will get a look by Fisher, as well.
Seeing as Pruitt has the arduous task of transforming a porous defense, this move reeks of Richt desperately attempting to save his job after the 2014 season, and Pruitt appreciating the money over success.