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Jay Graham back at Tennessee as RB coach

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KNOXVILLE — Former Tennessee running back Jay Graham is returning to UT as an assistant coach.

Graham played running back for the Vols from 1993-96. The VFL also coached at Tennessee during the 2012 season under then-head coach Derek Dooley, serving as running backs coach. He also was a graduate assistant in 2005 at Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer.

Graham reunites with Jeremy Pruitt after coaching alongside the current UT head coach at Florida State in 2013. Pruitt served as defensive coordinator, while Graham was running backs coach for the Seminoles. Florida State won the 2013 BCS national championship.

The new Tennessee assistant leaves Texas A&M after serving as the Aggies’ co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach in 2019.

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After leaving Tennessee during the Butch Jones era, Graham is now joining Jeremy Pruitt’s staff, filling the opening that David Johnson created when he left for Florida State. Graham was a key part of Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Texas A&M, which adds another layer of interest to this hire.

Why? Five-star running back Zachary Evans, that’s why. Tennessee has gotten involved in a big way for the elite back, battling it out with Georgia, Ole Miss and..... Texas A&M. The Aggies were a popular projected landing spot for Evans once he was released from his Georgia NLI earlier this month.

Now with Jay Graham on staff at Tennessee, who was his primary recruiter at A&M, you’ve got to like the Volunteers’ chances even more.

Graham played at Tennessee in the 1990s, running for more than 1,400 yards as a junior in 1995. Could there be anyone more perfect to finish off Evans’ recruitment?

Evans is the 16th rated player in the 2020 class, per the 247Sports industry-generated composite rankings. Interestingly enough, he actually lost his fifth star in 247’s independent rankings, falling to No. 33 overall. Perhaps that has something to do with the potential baggage he might bring.

This recruitment has been strange since December, where Evans was suspended for his team’s state title game. It was the second time during his senior season that he had been suspended. He then signed with Georgia, but kept things under wraps until the Under Armor All-American Game. Instead of announcing his commitment, he asked for his release from his NLI.

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If he gets Evans for us then great pick up but something smells like the weasel at Ole Miss is gonna make a run at him. 

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Terrific Hire. I am so glad to see Jay back in the fold. He always liked Fulmer so I can see why he came back. They had a good relationship. I think he will buy into Pruitt's type of coaching.

 

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