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Jeremy Pruitt's family & former teachers excited for his future at UT

At Plainview School in Rainsville, Alabama, is where it all began for Jeremy Pruitt. (Image: WTVC)

At Plainview School in Rainsville, Alabama, is where it all began for Jeremy Pruitt, the Vols' new head coach.

He went to school there, played football there and even coached here.

Inside the library of the school, the yearbooks go back - way back - to the 90's when Pruitt played ball, and what better person to reminisce with on Jeremy's childhood than the man who taught UT’s new coach in sixth grade.

"One of the most dedicated students and athletes around," said Bill Ayers, retired Plainview teacher.

Ayers still remembers each and every kid who walked into his classroom, especially Jeremy Pruitt.

"I had him in the sixth grade. I had this big class of 5th and 6th graders. We talked about a lot of things. One day, I remembering asking them what they wanted to do. So, as 6th grader he said, 'well I’m gonna be a SEC football coach,'" Ayers remembered.

"Did you think he could do it," we asked?

"Well, knowing Jeremy - I did. But, I normally wouldn’t. I’ll be honest with you," Ayers replied.

Even after Pruitt graduated sixth grade, Ayers was still able to watch him grow as a student and athlete.

He kept stats for the high school football team for more than 30 years.

"He played freshmen. 10th, 11th and 12th. [He] played in the state finals when he was a senior. Quarterback. He was always dependable. One of the best defensive backs around," said Ayers.

Just down the hall, Pruitt's little sister Leah Traylor can agree with that.

She still works at the school Jeremy and his siblings attended growing up.

"I used to say we lived, drank and dreamed football," Traylor laughed.

Now, her brother's starting his dream job and she couldn't be happier.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we’re very very proud of him," she said.

So is Mr. Ayers - the man who remembers Jeremy Pruitt telling him in 6th grade that he'd one day be where he is today.

"He knew what he wanted to do and he worked toward that goal. Everything he did was to go toward that goal," Ayers said.


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