Jeremy Pruitt has narrowed the field of candidates for his wide receivers’ coaching vacancy to three barring an unexpected contender emerging according to multiple sources in college football and on Rocky Top. A pair of candidates with deep Atlantic Coast Conference ties and an in-state assistant coach have interviewed for what, right now, is the final position on Pruitt’s inaugural staff.
Former Florida State assistant/co-offensive coordinator Lawrence Dawsey, Memphis wide receivers coach David Johnson, and North Carolina State assistant head coach for offense/recruiting coordinator Des Kitchings have emerged from a crowded field of would-be candidates.
New Vols’ offensive coordinator Tyson Helton has spearheaded Tennessee’s efforts to close out its staff in the past two weeks and multiple candidates have been on Rocky Top this week interviewing for this final vacancy.
Per sources with knowledge of the Vols’ process, Tennessee prefers to nail down this hire imminently as Pruitt & Co. are set to host a bevy of big-time prospects this weekend on both official and unofficial recruiting visits.
Dawsey and Pruitt previously worked together at Florida State, while Kitchings has the makings of a coach capable of running his own program one day while serving as the Wolfpack’s assistant head coach for offense and recruiting coordinator.
A former head coach in the high school ranks in Louisiana, Johnson has incredibly deep ties in New Orleans and has spent the past six seasons in the American Athletic Conference.
Per a current college offensive coordinator, the former Florida State standout and 1991 NFL Rookie of the Year Dawsey “turned down multiple NFL jobs” in the past couple of seasons, but, like Randy Sanders, was not going to be retained in Tallahassee or brought to Texas A&M with Jimbo Fisher. Reports out of Tallahassee last month prior to Christmas revealed that Dawsey would not return to his alma mater, where he played from 1987-90.
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