Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Well it's an interesting beginning to this first off season for Jeremy Pruitt as Tennessee head coach with the departure of offensive coordinator
Helton has accepted the head coaching job at Western Kentucky replacing Mike Sanford, who was fired over the weekend after two seasons with the Hilltoppers.
Thanks to the combination of implementing a new system and as the season wore on, having to deal with injuries, the vols offense never reached its full potential under Helton.
Now that he's gone. Who's next? What kind of candidate is Jeremy Pruitt looking for? Chris Low, senior writer for ESPN.com says," He wants somebody that can be physical, possess the football and protect the defense and not have them on the field for as many plays as they were this year, but also be creative. You look at his old boss Nick Saban he's involved and has adapted and they've changed on offense."
Helton was among Pruitt's first hires coming over from Southern Cal, where he coached under his brother Clay Helton.
Some of the names Chris Low says might be a possible replacement are former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, his hire might have to be cleared by the SEC because of the NCAA investigation which resulted in a multi-year bowl ban for the Rebels.
Other names include former Bama star and Cleveland Browns
OC- Freddie Kitchens, current Alabama offensive coordinator Dan Enos and South Carolina O-C McLendon, who coach Pruitt
considered for a spot at Tennessee last year. As for the new hire, it's one which will have to happen relatively quickly with the early signing period set for December 19th.
For much more insight from Chris Low on this Offensive Coordinator change and it's impact on the Vols, please click on the attached video.