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.

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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.

Jeremy Pruitt and Nick Saban - USAT_1512682659581.png
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 👇

— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 7, 2017