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As Tennessee’s football coaching search continues, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is a name who has gathered some buzz in the past few days, since Phillip Fulmer’s appointment as athletic director.
Angela Gosnell/News Sentinel

Finally, the search is over.

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee have finalized a deal to make Pruitt the Vols’ coach, UT announced Thursday. Pruitt will be introduced at a news conference at 6:05 p.m. Thursday.

Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and SI.com reported that Pruitt will receive a six-year deal. 

Pruitt and fellow defensive coordinators Kevin Steele of Auburn and Mel Tucker of Georgia were considered finalists for the job, which has been open since Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12.

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Pruitt is in his second season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator after two years in the same position at Georgia. His first year as a defensive coordinator was in 2013 at Florida State. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense that season en route to a national championship. Pruitt was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant. He was also a Broyles Award finalist in 2016.

More: UT Vols: Jeremy Pruitt will have these 4 tasks to tackle in short order

“Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria” Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a news release. “I’m certain he appreciates the unique opportunity to lead a program of Tennessee’s caliber. He’s driven to win at the highest level. He will honor our university’s values, operate with integrity and be a role model for our student-athletes.

“I know…