Alabama head coach Nick Saban praised his former defense coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on Thursday and sent his well-wishes as Pruitt begins his tenure as UT's head football coach.

UT announced Pruitt as the 26th head coach for the Tennessee Vol football program on Thursday. A deal was reached between the coach and the university after much discussion on Wednesday night, which was initially confirmed with WBIR's sources and later by UT Football.

This season was Pruitt's second stint as an assistant coach with Saban the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was the team's defensive backs coach under Saban from 2010-2012, and returned to the team as the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach in 2016.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban talks with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt during the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 22, 2017. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Saban said Pruitt is "hard-working, dedicated and organized with exceptional knowledge of the game."

"He is an excellent recruiter who does a great job developing players and earning their respect," Saban said. "He will do a great job at Tennessee and we wish him the best."

First up, Nick Saban 👇 pic.twitter.com/0oWfoVwMAI

— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 7, 2017