New Tennessee Coach Jeremy Pruitt quickly eschewed any questions about his new venture with the Tennessee Volunteers, solely wanting to keep the focus on Alabama and Clemson.
“The first thing, I just want to say this: I’m excited about being the head football coach at Tennessee. It’s a tremendous opportunity, a great university and I’m thankful to have it. But right now I’m working as a defensive coordinator at Alabama, and I’d like for these questions to be targeted toward this game and the players that are associated with this game.” – Alabama DC and new Tennessee HC Jeremy Pruitt
Pruitt added that he’s happy to get some of his defensive resources back, saying that at times they had to use figurative band-aids to keep from exposing their weaknesses.
Linebackers Shaun Dion Hamilton and Dylan Moses as well as safety Hootie Jones were ruled out earlier this week by Head Coach Nick Saban, but Alabama does expect OLBs Mack Wilson, Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis to be ready for Clemson.
Pruitt believes he still has a lot to prove in his final test against Clemson with Alabama:
The most NFL-ready player on Alabama’s defense is safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is projected anywhere as high as the Top 10 on NFL Draft Boards in 2018.
He says he will be the one player most tasked with handling Hunter Renfrow, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass against the Crimson Tide a year ago.
Fitzpatrick, along with the other players on Alabama’s defense also marveled at the size of Kelly Bryant, and how he’s adapted as a starting quarterback for Clemson.
Alabama will have two full practices and a walk-through at the Superdome before gameday Monday. We will speak to both Head Coaches one final time Sunday, which you can follow @SportsTalkSC on Twitter and SportsTalkSC.com