ATHENS - Mark Richt and Nick Saban have vastly different styles, but when it comes to hiring defensive coordinators, Richt hasn't been afraid to pull from Saban's coaching tree.
Todd Grantham was a Saban protege, and several times Saban called Grantham "one of the best assistants I've had." But Jeremy Pruitt's experience with Saban was for longer and came more recently.
Pruitt was Alabama's secondary coach from 2010-12, and prior to that he spent three seasons as the player development coordinator. (That's one of those extra staff positions Saban has excelled at creating.)
Saban was asked at a press conference in December about Pruitt, who was in the midst of guiding Florida State's defense to an unbeaten year and national title. Here was Saban's answer:
"Jeremy Pruitt doing a great job at Florida State is no surprise to me at all. He did a fantastic job here for us, regardless of what his role was. Did a great iob of coaching our secondary. I certainly felt like because he had been a coordinator in high school, he had a really good, sort of, big-picture view of things, that he would make a really, really good coordinator. He certainly understood our system very well and would be able to apply our system here, and actually thought he could do that for us here. Doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s doing extremely well there with their defensive players because he did a fantastic job here."