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Phil Fulmer's search for next Vols head coach drawing to a close

Phil Fulmer's search for next Vols head coach drawing to a close

Several reports have indicated that Jeremy Pruitt is the third SEC defensive coordinator to become a candidate for the Tennessee job. He went on to coach at Nebraska, the Carolina Panthers, and Baylor before he coached at Florida State and Alabama.

Martin, 38, has been at USC for six years, first as wide receivers coach before he was named offensive coordinator at the end of the 2015 season.

One source said Fulmer is perhaps finishing not his second, but third talk with Tucker, the former Wisconsin player who owns a deep college and National Football League resumè. He played linebacker at Tennessee in 1978-79. Pruitt is also regarded as one of the top recruiters in the SEC.

A former defensive back at Alabama, Pruitt served two different stints on the Crimson Tide staff under Saban. He was hired as Georgia's DC last season.

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables (46 years old) impressed during his interviews, a source close to Fulmer said, and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker (45) has also been under Fulmer's consideration.

The lights in the Tennessee football offices were regularly on after 10 p.m. seven days a week when Phillip Fulmer was the Vols' head coach, so nothing has changed.

New Athletics Director Phil Fulmer has reached out to his former player for possibly multiple positions, according to multiple reports.

At a news conference for the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday, former Vols star Peyton Manning addressed the coaching search: "Obviously it's been a hard time, but I know what Tennessee is capable of being: It's what it was when I was in school there". No. 3 Georgia will face No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on January 1.