Jeremy Pruitt meets with Hugh Freeze to talk ‘ball and coordinator vacancy
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has spent most of his hours and days since the season ending game against Vanderbilt focused on recruiting. He's also been weighing his options for his vacant offensive coordinator position after Tyson Helton left to become the head coach at Western Kentucky.
The scorching hot name at the top of most hot boards is former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. Sources tell Volquest that Pruitt and other members of his staff met with Freeze while recruiting the Memphis area.
Pruitt was scheduled to go in-home with Michigan tailback commitment Eric Gray on Wednesday night.
Gray, the only three time winner of the Mr. Football award in the state of Tennessee, would bring speed.
As for Freeze, the former Ole Miss head coach would bring a history of spotlighting his best players' strengths.
Like almost all of Pruitt's staff, Freeze got his start coaching at the prep level as the head coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis.
Wednesday's meeting location was a convenient one for both parties to get together and talk ball with Freeze still residing in near by Oxford, Mississippi.
The discussion between the two sides was a great opportunity for Pruitt to get a good feel for Freeze on a professional level since they haven’t worked together before.
Freeze isn't the only candidate Pruitt is currently evaluating, with Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos, Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens very much in the mix, too.
Sources tell Volquest that Pruitt is more familiar and comfortable with all three, having either coached or played with them at points during his playing and coaching career.
Pruitt has expressed an interest to be more dynamic and explosive on offense which would play well with Freeze's big play offense. He also wants to be balanced and physical.
The obvious hurdles for both Tennessee and Freeze are his past after being fired at Ole Miss for placing inappropriate calls on a University issued cell phone to a female escort service.
Freeze spent time at Alabama this past offseason as the Tide tried to add him to their staff in an off the field position. That opportunity fell through due to concerns from the SEC, as Freeze has remained frozen in the college coaching world.
As the month progresses, the options for Freeze are likely to grow as the dominos fall in the coaching world. Sources tell Volquest that Freeze could have multiple options inside the SEC and ACC before the end of the year.