Georgia hires Florida State's Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Georgia hires Florida State's Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator

Posted: Updated:
Georgia coach Mark Richt moved quickly to name a new defensive coordinator, hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Florida State on Tuesday, only two days after losing Todd Grantham to Louisville.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Georgia coach Mark Richt moved quickly to name a new defensive coordinator, hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Florida State on Tuesday, only two days after losing Todd Grantham to Louisville.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia coach Mark Richt moved quickly to name a new defensive coordinator, hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Florida State on Tuesday, only two days after losing Todd Grantham to Louisville.

Richt said he is "ecstatic" to add Pruitt to the Georgia staff. Pruitt has coached on three straight national championship teams at Alabama and Florida State.

Under Pruitt, undefeated Florida State led the nation in scoring defense, allowing 12.1 points per game, and ranked third in total defense while winning the national championship.

Pruitt also was Florida State's defensive backs coach, and the Seminoles ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency defense.

Pruitt, who was in Athens on Tuesday, said the move to Georgia "is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity."

"I'm looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits," Pruitt said.

Georgia expects to return 10 starters on defense.

Pruitt already has a close relationship with at least one Georgia assistant coach. Pruitt began his playing career at Middle Tennessee State before transferring to Alabama, where he was roommates with Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend.

Georgia did not release terms of Pruitt's contract. Grantham was earning $850,000. Pruitt, 39, earned $500,000 in 2013 and was expected to receive a raise at Florida State.

Before moving to Florida State, Pruitt was the secondary coach at Alabama for three seasons, including the Crimson Tide's national championship teams in 2011 and 2012.

With the Feb. 5 national signing day only three weeks away, Richt moved quickly to hire Pruitt, who is known as a strong recruiter.

Pruitt produced instant results in his one season at Florida State.

"He taught us the ins and outs of everything," Florida State safety Terrence Brooks said recently. "Just the way to pursue to the ball, the way to go get the ball, everything you can think about in football he's taught us. He really broke the game down to us as to why we're running this type of defense.

"He makes you understand it so much better and I feel like everyone bought into it and that's why we're so successful."

Grantham was named Louisville's defensive coordinator on Sunday. He was the second defensive assistant to leave Georgia. Secondary coach Scott Lakatos resigned on Thursday, citing undisclosed personal reasons.

Under Grantham, Georgia's defense produced mixed results.

In 2011, the Bulldogs ranked fifth in the nation in total defense. His 2012 defense was packed with talented players, sending seven players to the 2013 NFL draft, but was perceived as underachieving.

Grantham had to rebuild the defense in 2013, when Georgia ranked only eighth in the Southeastern Conference in total defense and 78th in the nation in scoring defense. Georgia gave up 29 points per game to rank 78th in the nation as the Bulldogs finished 8-5.

Georgia did not announce if Pruitt will coach defensive backs at Georgia, as he did at Florida State. Pruitt is scheduled to meet with reporters in Athens on Wednesday.

The signature play of the 2013 season for Georgia's defense came in the Bulldogs' 43-38 loss to Auburn. Nick Marshall's 73-yard pass was deflected by Georgia defensive back Josh Harvey-Clemons and then caught by Ricardo Louis for the go-ahead touchdown with 25 seconds remaining.

___

Associated Press Writer Kareem Copeland in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Atlanta mayor: Talked to 6 possible Hawks owners

    Atlanta mayor: Talked to 6 possible Hawks owners

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:41:55 GMT
    Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed says he has talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks after a racially charged email prompted owner Bruce Levenson to announce he's selling the team.More >>
    Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he has already talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks and expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager...More >>
  • Anheuser-Busch, Visa voice NFL disapproval

    Anheuser-Busch, Visa voice NFL disapproval

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:41:48 GMT
    By MAE ANDERSON The Associated Press Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch are adding to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League's recent actions but the companies are...More >>
    By MAE ANDERSON The Associated Press Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch are adding to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League's recent scandals but the companies are stopping...More >>
  • CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast

    CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:15:17 GMT
    CBS and Rihanna are splitting up after more fallout from the Ray Rice incident.More >>
    CBS and Rihanna are splitting up, more fallout from the Ray Rice domestic violence incident and the turmoil it has caused for the NFL.More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Flu season is right around the corner

    Flu season is right around the corner

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:47:05 GMT
    Sneezing, sniffling, coughing, wheezing. That's the sounds these days heard in schools, offices and daycaresThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just confirmed Alabama's first cases of Enterovirus D-68, the so-called mystery virus that is hitting young children especially hard. Except for this rhinovirus, we haven't heard much yet about flu season. Right now the Jefferson County Department of Health has no confirmed cases of the flu. But, local physicians know that will change in th...More >>
    Sneezing, sniffling, coughing, wheezing. That's the sounds these days heard in schools, offices and daycaresThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just confirmed Alabama's first cases of Enterovirus D-68, the so-called mystery virus that is hitting young children especially hard. Except for this rhinovirus, we haven't heard much yet about flu season. Right now the Jefferson County Department of Health has no confirmed cases of the flu. But, local physicians know that will change in th...More >>
  • Alabama now offering "Don't Tread on Me" car tags

    Alabama now offering "Don't Tread on Me" car tags

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:42:51 GMT
    At least 250 Alabama vehicles will soon be using license plates featuring the rattlesnake emblem and "Don't Tread on Me" warning popular with tea party groups.More >>
    At least 250 Alabama vehicles will soon be using license plates featuring the rattlesnake emblem and "Don't Tread on Me" warning popular with tea party groups.More >>
  • University of Alabama breaks enrollment record with 36,155 students this fall

    University of Alabama breaks enrollment record with 36,155 students this fall

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:12:32 GMT
    Enrollment at The University of Alabama reached a record high 36,155 students this fall, and includes an outstanding freshman class.More >>
    Enrollment at The University of Alabama reached a record high 36,155 students this fall, and includes an outstanding freshman class.More >>
  • Hoover to help fund Galleria flyover completion

    Hoover to help fund Galleria flyover completion

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:51:02 GMT
    Money is finally in place to complete the third and final phase of the Galleria flyover project. The Hoover city council has approved funds to help complete it. The city will pay up to one million dollars. The state is using federal money to cover 80 percent of the costs. Hoover will split the remaining 20 percent with Jefferson County.The project itself is expected to cost between seven and eight million dollars. It will extend Galleria Boulevard from Highway 150 to Old Montgomery Highway...More >>
    Money is finally in place to complete the third and final phase of the Galleria flyover project. The Hoover city council has approved funds to help complete it. The city will pay up to one million dollars. The state is using federal money to cover 80 percent of the costs. Hoover will split the remaining 20 percent with Jefferson County.The project itself is expected to cost between seven and eight million dollars. It will extend Galleria Boulevard from Highway 150 to Old Montgomery Highway...More >>
  • South Carolina trying to remain focused on Vanderbilt after big win over Georgia

    South Carolina trying to remain focused on Vanderbilt after big win over Georgia

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:38:07 GMT
    Steve Spurrier figures he's got an equally difficult task getting No. 14 South Carolina ready for Vanderbilt as he did last week for Georgia.More >>
    Steve Spurrier figures he's got an equally difficult task getting No. 14 South Carolina ready for Vanderbilt as he did last week for Georgia.
    More >>
  • Obama: Ebola outbreak 'spiraling out of control'

    Obama: Ebola outbreak 'spiraling out of control'

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:31:20 GMT
    President Barack Obama says the world is looking to the United States to address the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.More >>
    President Barack Obama says the world is looking to the United States to address the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.
    More >>
  • Grand jury to weigh case of Tony Stewart's crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr.

    Grand jury to weigh case of Tony Stewart's crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr.

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:26 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:26:11 GMT
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday.More >>
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Auburn tailbacks keep ground game strong

    Auburn tailbacks keep ground game strong

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:03 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:03:44 GMT
    Cameron Artis-Payne wanted to prove he has speed this season and Corey Grant aimed to show his power.More >>
    Cameron Artis-Payne wanted to prove he has speed this season and Corey Grant aimed to show his power.
    More >>