It didn’t take long for Mark Richt to fill out his staff once again. Just days after Todd Grantham resigned as the defensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs to take the same position with the Louisville Cardinals, Georgia turned around and poached Jeremy Pruitt to be their new DC. Pruitt, 39, comes to Georgia fresh off winning a BCS National Championship with the Florida State Seminoles as their defensive coordinator, bringing an elite defensive mind to Athens for 2014.
Pruitt spent one season at FSU as the team’s defensive coordinator where he led the No. 1 scoring defense and No. 3 total defense in the country. That stifling defense helped the Noles cruise to a perfect season in 2013 capped by a rally to win the national championship against the Auburn Tigers. The move to Georgia is a return to the SEC for Pruitt who served as a defensive backs coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide for three seasons before joining Florida State. In addition to his defensive chops, Pruitt has a reputation as an excellent recruiter and was named National Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports.com in 2012.
At Georgia, Pruitt will take over a defense that took a step back in 2013 due to inexperience across the board. The Bulldogs have built their success on a hard-nosed, physical brand of defense but ranked just No. 79 in scoring defense and No. 45 in total defense. There’s plenty of talent returning for 2014 for Pruitt to work with but they will have to grow up in a hurry to avoid a second straight disappointing defensive effort. If they can back to their elite defensive level next fall, they have an excellent shot at getting back on top of the SEC East and playing for a conference title.
Can Pruitt continue his success after his first season as a defensive coordinator at FSU for the Georgia Bulldogs? Mark Richt thinks he can and has paid him handsomely to relocate to Athens to get the UGA defense back on track. Will the move pay off for Georgia?