What AD Phillip Fulmer says Vols football should achieve in first season with Jeremy Pruitt – Knoxville News Sentinel


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A time lapse video of Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson’s photo replacing former head coach Butch Jones on the Neyland Stadium video board.
Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel

Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer said coach Jeremy Pruitt ?inherited a really tough situation? when he took the reins of the Vols? football program on Dec. 7.

Nonetheless, Fulmer expects UT to be in a postseason game in Pruitt?s first season.

?I think Tennessee expects that every year,? Fulmer said March 1 during an interview with USA TODAY NETWORK ? Tennessee. ?Now, can we get there? I would think so, hope so. There?s a lot of work to be done.?

Fulmer likes what he?s seen from Pruitt in his first three months on the job.

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?I think he?s building a foundation right now for what we hope to be a championship level of football,? Fulmer said. ?He?s certainly got his challenges.?

More: Phillip Fulmer outlines vision for Tennessee Vols as athletic director

But Fulmer also believes Tennessee touts plenty of assets.

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?We?ve got a great facility to recruit to, a great university to recruit to,? said Fulmer, the former UT coach who led the Vols to a national championship in 1998. ?We?ve got history here. There?s no reason that we?re not successful. Now, to sit here and say that?s going to be one year, two years, three years, there?s no way to see it.?

Fulmer has been most impressed with Pruitt?s intensity and the way he communicates ? both with the team and with Fulmer.

During Pruitt?s stops as defensive coordinator at Florida State, Georgia and Alabama, he worked under veteran coaches Jimbo Fisher, Mark Richt and Nick Saban.

?He?s being himself. He?s not trying to be anybody else. I think that?s important,? Fulmer said. ?It?s real easy to try to emulate where you?ve been, but he?s been around enough people between Saban and Mark Richt and Jimbo that I think he?s taken a little bit (from each) ? like we all do, we take a little bit from the people that we?re around. That?s been a plus.?

  • Watch as Al Wilson replaces Butch Jones on Neyland Stadium's video board

    Watch as Al Wilson replaces Butch Jones on Neyland Stadium’s video board

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    UT National Signing Day celebration

  • UT Vols signing day 2018

    UT Vols signing day 2018

  • True or false: Jarrett Guarantano will start season opener

    True or false: Jarrett Guarantano will start season opener

  • Blake Toppmeyer, John Adams & Mike Wilson on Pruitt's press conference

    Blake Toppmeyer, John Adams & Mike Wilson on Pruitt’s press conference

  • The hardest part of juggling two jobs? The guilt, Jeremy Pruitt says

    The hardest part of juggling two jobs? The guilt, Jeremy Pruitt says

  • Early signing day: Breaking down Tennessee's current class

    Early signing day: Breaking down Tennessee’s current class

  • Keaton Jones visits UT

    Keaton Jones visits UT

  • Jeremy Pruitt introduced at Vols basketball game

    Jeremy Pruitt introduced at Vols basketball game

  • Watch a time lapse of The Rock being painted to welcome UT Vols new coach Jeremy Pruitt

    Watch a time lapse of The Rock being painted to welcome UT Vols new coach Jeremy Pruitt

  • A timeline of Tennessee's coaching search

    A timeline of Tennessee’s coaching search

  • Phil Fulmer named Vols athletics director

    Phil Fulmer named Vols athletics director

  • John Currie out as Tennessee athletic director

    John Currie out as Tennessee athletic director

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