ATHENS -- After one season as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt’s presence has been felt.
The defense improved over the course of the 2014 season and has high expectations entering year two. A few hires with ties to Pruitt were made following his own addition -- including inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer and strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Hocke -- would signal some additional influence he’s allowed to have on this program.
When asked about it, however, Pruitt said he hasn’t been handed any more control than a defensive coordinator may typically have.
“We’ve got one boss around here and that’s coach (Mark) Richt,” Pruitt said. “As a head coach, your assistants kind of help make who you are. When you sit in a room and you start saying who are some names, who are some guys we can bring up.”
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Pruitt, who was previously the defensive backs coach at Alabama before becoming Florida State’s defensive coordinator in 2013, said the situation is similar at previous stops he’s made as an assistant coach. When meeting with his boss, he’ll freely speak up when asked for suggestions.
“It’s no different than when we were at Alabama,” Pruitt said. “When we got ready to hire someone there, they would ask around the room does anyone know anybody? Same thing at Florida State. Same thing at Plainview High School (in Alabama). That’s how the business works.”
Pruitt's statement matched up with Richt's on what he's looking for in his assistant coaches.
“We have staff meetings on everything we do. Everything is open to discussion," Richt said. "Anytime you have people from different programs, you want to hear how they might have done this or that. Coach Pruitt has input without a doubt. (Defensive line and linebackers) coach (Tracy) Rocker being at Auburn. (Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) being in the NFL, all those things. So we get a lot of ideas, and then we kind of nail down what we're going to do and how we're going to do it. But there have been a lot of things that coach Pruitt and coach Sherrer have brought from the places they've been.”