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December 16, 2012

Another added to FSU's defensive staff

After a slow start it looks like Jimbo Fisher's is working quickly to get his complete coaching staff in place.

Early on Sunday news surfaced that Alabama defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt would succeed Mark Stoops as Florida State's next defensive coordinator. It looks like Pruitt will have familiar company next to him on the FSU sideline.

Multiple sources close to the situation have told Warchant.com that former Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri is expected to join Pruitt on FSU's defensive staff. The 53-year old coach only lasted one season at Tennessee after being released with the rest of the staff when former head coach Derek Dooley was dismissed last month.

The Sal Sunseri File
  • Was an consensus All-American linebacker at Pittsburgh
  • Held the title of assistant head coach for defense at Alabama (2009-11)
  • In 2011 was finalist for the Broyles Award given annually to the nation's top assistant coach
  • Was part of Alabama's staff for two National Championships (2009, 11)
  • Coached Pro Bowlers Julius Peppers, Mike Rucker and Kris Jenkins at Carolina
  • The Panthers were top 10 in total defense in four of his seven seasons
  • Sunseri was reached by phone late Sunday but would neither confirm nor deny that he had accepted a job to join Florida State's coaching staff.

    Prior to his short stint in Knoxville, Sunseri spent three years with Nick Saban and Pruitt at Alabama coaching the Crimson Tide inside linebackers. Before that he was the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers for seven years. Other coaching stops include Michigan State (LB/ST) and LSU (DL/LB).

    As of the time of this report it was uncertain which defensive position Sunseri will coach on FSU's staff. He might also be a candidate to take over the special teams coordinator duties that were previously held by Eddie Gran.

    If Sunseri does join the staff it raises an interesting possibility that Florida State could switch to a base three-four defense. Pruitt was part of that scheme at Alabama and Sunseri ran that system at Tennessee this past season. If FSU switches to a three-four it could shake up how the defensive coaching staff is structured. The most likely scenario would be having just one defensive line coach, which would mean the elimination of the defensive ends coach, while having two linebacker coaches.

    As of Sunday night Jimbo Fisher hadn't made any announcements about the hiring of new staff so it's not official that Sunseri has been hired just yet.



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