Dylan Brooks, Tennessee football's top 2021 signee, asks for release from Vols
Dylan Brooks, Tennessee football's top signee in the 2021 class, has asked for his release following Jeremy Pruitt's firing Monday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Knox News.
The Handley (Alabama) standout signed with Tennessee during the early signing period in December. UT did not announce his signing until Dec. 31. Because Brooks signed, UT has to grant him his release for him to pursue a different school to play for in 2021 without penalty.
Tennessee fired Pruitt for cause Monday, citing an investigation that revealed sweeping recruiting violations within the football program. Chancellor Donde Plowman called the investigation's findings "stunning" based on the amount of violations and number of people involved.
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The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Brooks was the No. 51 prospect nationally and No. 3 weakside defensive end in the 247Sports Composite.
Brooks was the third highest-rated defensive prospect to sign with UT under Pruitt. Only linebackers Henry To'o To'o and J.J. Peterson were more highly regarded prospects.
Brooks committed to Tennessee on April 26, starting a rush of commitments that pushed Tennessee's class to No. 3 in the nation. Brooks picked the Vols over Alabama, Auburn and LSU, among others.
“He’s just got so much raw, athletic talent, such a quick first step, and he bends so well and can change directions so quickly," Handley coach Larry Strain said. "That’s what makes him so highly sought after, is what it boils down to. He’s really a third-down rush guy, is what he is. That’s what he’s best at.”
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.