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FSU names Pruitt as defensive coordinator

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 06:48 PM
TALLAHASSEE -

Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt is Florida State's new defensive coordinator.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher announced Thursday that Pruitt will replace Mark Stoops, who took the Kentucky head-coaching job.

Pruitt has been on Nick Saban's Alabama staff for three years. Fisher was Saban's offensive coordinator at LSU.

The 38-year-old Pruitt has built a reputation as an effective recruiter in addition to coaching a defensive backfield that's ranked in the top 15 in pass defense the last three seasons. He will be only the third defensive coordinator at Florida State in the last 28 years, following Stoops and Mickey Andrews.

The release did not say when Pruitt's FSU duties begin. Alabama plays Notre Dame on Jan. 7 for the BCS title; Florida State plays Northern Illinois in the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl.

Also announced Thursday was the hiring of veteran assistant Sal Sunseri to coach FSU's defensive ends.

Sunseri is set to join FSU's staff in time to coach in the Orange Bowl. He replaces defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot, who went with Stoops to Kentucky to become defensive coordinator.

"Another great recruiter. Another great guy that's coached in the NFL, coached tons of first-round picks at linebacker and defensive end," Fisher said in a statement. "A lot of knowledge. He and I have been together for a long time. He and I have known each other for a long time. He used to send his son to my camp. I used to coach his son in camp for many years and got to develop him early — (Pittsburgh QB) Tino. And we coached together at LSU during those times. We have been friends for a long time. He brings a lot to the table. And that's another guy in the system who also knows that system. So you've got a front-end guy to help bridge that gap."

Sunseri was defensive coordinator at Tennessee in 2012. Before that, he was assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Alabama for three years (2009-11), and was with the Carolina Panthers for seven years (2002-08).

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