Those of you who follow college football recruiting through SB Nation (and with Signing Day fast approaching, you should) will already be familiar with Bud Elliott. However Bud is also the proprietor of SB Nation's Florida State Seminole site Tomahawk Nation. bud now obviously has his own coaching search to worry about. But before he put on another pot of coffee and resumed texting 7 sources all at once, he took a few minutes to discuss the Jeremy Pruitt hire with me.
MD: While I'm just as giddy as most Bulldog fans at this hire I have to ask: why would a guy like Jeremy Pruitt leave Florida State on the heels of a national title? It's hard to imagine that money was an issue, and there've been no rumors of any conflicts with Jimbo Fisher.
Bud: Given our intel, which is now being reported by other sources as well, that FSU essentially matched the offer to Pruitt, and that Pruitt got along with Fisher and the other staffers very well, and that he was returning the best secondary in the country in Tallahassee, and that he skipped town without meeting with the players or other coaches, this certainly feels like he is leaving Tallahassee for Athens due to some sort of personal issue.
MD: Pruitt has a reputation as a great recruiter. While his time at FSU doesn't provide a great sample size you've also covered him for SBN during his time at Alabama. Does Pruitt's recruiting live up to his recruiting reputation?
Bud: Absolutely. He recruits very well by winning over high school coaches and being willing to talk to them about their teams and schemes. And as a parent of a high schooler himself, he knows the concerns of parents. And he is very up on the technology kids use, being a young coach.
MD: Scheme-wise, how much does Pruitt's system differ from Todd Grantham's one gap 3-4?
Bud: You are getting Alabama's defense, or as much of it as Pruitt thinks Georgia's defensive players can handle. There will be more two-gapping, but the major deal with Pruitt is the pattern-match zone that he runs (Editor's note, go here for a great discussion of pattern matching by Grantland's Chris Brown), which is the Bill Belichick/Nick Saban/Al Groh deal they did with the Cleveland Browns all those years ago. I'm not sure exactly how much of that Georgia did or was trying to do. I do think UGA will be more disciplined on defense, assuming Richt allows Pruitt to run practices on that side of the ball how he wants.
MD: What is the Seminole fan reaction to this defection? Outrage? Disbielief? Meh, I can't hear you with this big ass commemorative national title hat pulled down over my ears?
Bud: I'd say shock, for all of the reasons listed above in the first question. I don't think they are that concerned, given that Jimbo Fisher just won a title after replacing 11 NFL draft picks, three more starters, and seven coaches in three months, but because there is no clear reason for him to leave, shock is a good description.
MD: Where do you think FSU now looks to replace Pruitt?
Bud: In-house, to either [former Tennessee DC] Sal Sunseri or [former longtime Georgia Tech assistant] Charles Kelly, or to another guy with linebacker or defensive back experience in a Saban defensive system (perhaps Geoff Collins, of Mississippi State*).
I want to thank Bud for answering some questions on what was obviously a pretty hectic night in Seminole circles. Be sure to check him out at Tomahawk Nation and SB Nation Recruiting when you get a chance.
*Bud didn't mention this, but a lot of people thought that Collins might get a look for the Georgia job as well.
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