If you’ll remember back to SEC Media Days this year, the headlines around the Vols had very little to do with anything on the field. The biggest talking points to come out of this year’s media days surrounding UT had to do with comments from former Georgia players, specifically Aaron Murray and David Pollack, about Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Back at media days, Murray doubted Pruitt’s ability to be an effective head coach and stated that he didn’t believe Pruitt had the personality to be a head coach. Fast forward to a week and a half till the Vols’ 2018 season starts, and Murray has sounded off on Pruitt once again.
Murray had a roundtable discussion with other CBS analysts on a segment called Inside College Football where they were discussing first-year head coaches who could struggle in 2018. The discussion started by looking at Herm Edwards at Arizona State, but then Aaron Murray shared his thoughts on Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee.
“I don’t think he’s inheriting a very good football team talent-wise,” Murray stated. “And then you just look at their schedule … Realistically, in my mind, this team can be 2-6 a little more than half way through the season. You start losing some ball games, people start questioning the new regime.
“It’s going to be a tough, tough first year. Talent, not there, and the schedule is probably the hardest schedule in the SEC.”
Murray was then asked about his lack of confidence in Pruitt, hinting back at his comments during SEC Media Days. And he didn’t backtrack on his lack of faith in the Vols’ new head coach.
“Every new head coach has a lot to prove,” Murray explained. “It’s a different ball game, and we talk about with players too: Being ‘a guy’ or being ‘the guy’ is two completely different things for coaches and players.”
Murray claims that the Vols don’t have much talent this year, but we looked at both UT’s and Florida’s rosters yesterday and saw that the Vols actually have more overall talent than the Gators heading into the 2018 season. Tennessee currently has 34 players on their roster who were rated as four-stars or better according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Yet most in the national and regional media are predicting much more success for Florida this year than for Tennessee.
Pruitt never coached Murray while at Georgia. Murray quarterbacked the Bulldogs from 2010-13, and Pruitt was the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015.
Murray’s scenario for the Vols to start the 2018 season certainly could happen, but only time will tell if his comments about Pruitt’s ability to be an effective coach will come true or not.