Tennessee football gains commitment from 5-star DE Dylan Brooks
Tennessee football's 2021 recruiting class has its first commitment from a five-star prospect after defensive end Dylan Brooks announced his pledge on Sunday.
"Locked in," Brooks wrote in a tweet announcing his commitment.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect from Handley High School in Alabama is the Vols' 11th commitment in the 2021 class. He's rated as the top prospect in Alabama in the 247Sports Composite and as the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the 2021 class.
“His ceiling is just out the roof," Handley coach Larry Strain said.
Brooks picked the Vols over Alabama, Auburn and LSU, among others.
“Most of (Tennessee's) staff is from Alabama," Brooks told AL.com for a story earlier this month. "All of them are like good dudes. I might could play there a little earlier than some other places. I also like Knoxville a lot and have some family there.”
As a junior at Handley, Brooks tallied 64 tackles, including 15 tackles for a loss and 3½ sacks, according to AL.com.
“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," 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.”
Brooks would be the first-five star defensive player to sign during the Jeremy Pruitt era. Pruitt signed five-star offensive tackles Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright in the 2019 class.
Brooks is the fifth player from an Alabama high school to commit to Tennessee for the 2021 class. The Vols signed three players from Alabama in the 2020 class after not signing any from the state since 2017.
Tennessee's 2021 class is ranked 13th nationally and third in the SEC in the 247Sports Composite after Brooks' commitment, as of Sunday afternoon.
Brooks' pledge offers redemption for Tennessee after the Vols missed on four-star defensive tackle Jay Hardy in the 2020 class. Hardy, from Chattanooga, signed with Auburn.
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. Current subscribers can click here to join Blake's FREE text group offering updates and analysis on Vols football.