In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet an athletic and versatile defender whose length will be a weapon all over the field: Theodore (AL) 4-star LB Cameron “Bobby” Pruitt.
As Miami looked to continue to stack top end talent on the defensive side of the ball, they turned their attention to a twitchy, lengthy defender from SEC country: Theodore (AL) LB Cameron “Bobby” Pruitt.
Virtually unknown in the world of recruiting, Pruitt burst onto the scene with a dominant junior season in 2022. 99 tackles, 15 TFLs, 2 sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, and a blocked punt. That’s a huge season and rightfully was the catalyst for Pruitt’s recruitment to jump off in a big way.
Maryland got things going with Pruitt’s first offer following his massive junior season, followed quickly by Penn State, and Michigan State, all before New Year’s. Once the calendar turned to 2023, Pruitt’s offer list continued to explode. Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Miami, and Alabama all jumped into the game for the standout defender.
Even while other offers came Pruitt’s way through 7v7 season, he took only one unofficial visit: to Coral Gables and the University of Miami. That really added to Miami’s momentum, and put the Canes well ahead in this recruitment. Pruitt doubled down on his interest with an official visit to Miami in early June. After that visit, Miami didn’t have to wait long for a commitment. Pruitt gave his pledge to the Canes....THE NEXT DAY.
On the 247sports composite, Pruitt is a 3-star prospect, the #47 S nationally, #26 in the State of Alabama, and #472 player overall in this class.
Pruitt committed to Miami over Alabama and Arkansas from a robust list of 26 scholarship offers from around the country.
As A Player
At 6’3” 187lbs, Pruitt is currently a bit of a tweener. He’s got the height to play at either LB or S, but at his weight, he’s a bit light for an outside backer/big slot safety. Depending on how you view things, that could be a benefit — he’s versatile enough to play either spot — or a problem — he needs to optimize his body for one position or the other.
With his frame, Pruitt should easily be able to get up to the 210-215lb range and move down into the box full-time. He’ll still be able to move around the defense, but I think his future is more moving forward to the front 7 rather than staying in the secondary.
Pruitt is a violent defender, willing and able to throw his body around at a moment’s notice. His effort has allowed him to take on blockers at the line of scrimmage and make plays near or behind the line of scrimmage. He’ll need to get bigger to continue to do that consistently at the P5 level, when TEs and OL are bigger than those he faced in HS.
Honestly, I think Pruitt is miscast as a Safety in the rankings. He plays outside backer at or near the line on nearly every play of his HUDL tape. He has the ability to play in space, but he’s a player whose focus is moving forward and covering tight ends (in man) or short zones when asked. Though infrequent, Pruitt does, however, play from a Safety alignment as well. He’s a physical tackler in the secondary when a receiver is near him, and shows great form on his tackles.
Miami made life tough for opposing teams with linebacker blitzes last year, and that’s something Pruitt does well. He blitzes from the edge more than up the middle in the A gap, but he shows good timing when doing it. And, like I said above, Pruitt brings every bit of physicality he has when he gets to the QB (or RB), and it’s easy to imagine how that will go when he’s able to add 20lbs of muscle in a couple of years.
With his experience both in the secondary and at OLB, Pruitt shows good coverage ability, both in man and zone situations. He has the height where only the biggest TE’s will have a major advantage over him up the seam, but has the quickness and change of direction ability to be able to cover most slot receivers as well. Pruitt loves contact so his connection to run defense is probably his favorite thing to do, but I could see him being a plus defender against the pass on 3rd down or long yardage situations in the future.
- Physical at the point of contact
- Weight (too light for a LB)
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Miami’s defense needs athletic, versatile defenders to make things work, and Pruitt is the next in line to fit that bill. The linebacker position, in particular, is one that has needed this kind of size and athleticism upgrade for a long time, and getting this player, on top of the haul from the 2023 class, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Like many LBs and DBs, Pruitt should be able to carve out a nice niche for himself on specials to start his career. His “run like your hair is on fire and then hit somebody as hard as you can” mentality fits specials perfectly, and Miami can use the aggression on that unit.
As his career develops, Pruitt could be used in a number of ways. His ability to gain weight and develop his body will be the key thing dictating his usage on the field. He should, however, be a rotation player down the line, at a minimum. But, if everything clicks, Pruitt could be a standout linebacker for the Canes in the years to come.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.