Tennessee coaching search: Vols examining a trio of SEC defensive coordinators

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Auburn DC Kevin Steele and Georgia DC Mel Tucker have both had their second interviews for the vacancy, and ESPN's Chris Low is reporting that Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt will also get a second interview. He went on to coach at Nebraska, the Carolina Panthers, and Baylor before he coached at Florida State and Alabama. Steele's career 9-36 ledger overshadows, in terms of a head coaching position, his overall solid work as a veteran defensive coordinator.

Fulmer also reportedly spoke with Tee Martin, USC offensive coordinator, extensively by phone on Tuesday.

Martin, 39, quarterbacked Tennessee to the 1998 national championship and played under Fulmer for the Vols. The Crimson Tide, headed to the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year, are ranked first nationally in scoring defense this season and second nationally in total defense.

Interestingly, all three candidates have coached under Nick Saban at Alabama. Pruitt is also regarded as one of the top recruiters in the SEC.

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Pruitt is the youngest of the grouping and draws strength from successful stops at Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and again at Alabama.

It's Day 25 for Tennessee without a head football coach in Knoxville, and current players, players' parents, recruits and - yes, fans - are restless.

The two DCs will have second-round interviews with Fulmer Tuesday in New York, ESPN.com reported, citing sources.

Patience has been running thin for Vol fans, but it finally appears as though a decision will be coming soon regarding Tennessee's next head football coach.

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