Georgia hires FSU’s Pruitt as DC

Georgia has hired Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator, according to a school release Tuesday afternoon.

Pruitt, 39, was reportedly in Athens on Tuesday, where he met with head coach Mark Richt and other members of Georgia’s staff.

“I’m ecstatic,” UGA head coach Mark Richt said.

Pruitt helped the Seminoles win the BCS national championship this past season in his first year at the school. He replaces former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who resigned Sunday to accept the same position at Louisville.

FSU finished No. 1 among FBS teams in scoring defense (12.1 points) and No. 3 in total defense (281.4 yards) this past season.

Pruitt was named FSU’s defensive coordinator in December 2012 after serving the previous three seasons (2010-12) as Alabama’s defensive backfield coach.

“This is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity,” said Pruitt. “I’m looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits.”

Pruitt was named Florida State’s defensive coordinator in December, 2012, after serving the previous three seasons (2010-12) as Alabama’s defensive backfield coach. In each of his three seasons as secondary coach, the Crimson Tide ranked in the top 10 nationally in pass efficiency defense, top 15 in pass defense and top five in both total defense and scoring defense.

A former Alabama defensive back, Pruitt originally joined the Crimson Tide staff in 2007 as director of player development. He had previously served as an assistant coach at Hoover (Ala.) High from 2004-2006, and as an assistant under his father, Dale Pruitt, at Fort Payne (Ala.) High and Plainview

(Ala.) High. He spent one season, 1999, as defensive backs coach at the University of West Alabama.

Pruitt made an impact in Tuscaloosa his last two seasons. In 2012, Alabama ranked No. 7 in pass defense yielding just 173.64 yards per game and No. 7 nationally in pass efficiency defense (103.72) while also leading the nation in total defense (250.00 ypg), rushing defense (76.36 yards per game) and scoring defense (10.93 points per game). In 2011, Alabama not only led the nation in pass defense (111.46 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (83.69 ypg), but the Crimson Tide led the nation in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense on its way to winning the BCS National Championship.

Pruitt’s 2011 secondary at Alabama produced three first team All-Americans and NFL draft picks in first-rounders safety Mark Barron (No. 7 pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17 pick by the Cincinnati Bengals). Cornerback DeQuan Menzie was taken in the fifth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 2012, Pruitt’s secondary overcame the loss of three NFL Draft picks to become one of the best in the nation. Junior cornerback Dee Milliner led the group with 51 tackles, 18 pass breakups and two interceptions en route to earning first-team All-America honors. A finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, Milliner ranked third nationally in passes defended with 1.67 per game.