Earlier this week, it was reported that freshman offensive lineman Tanner Antonutti was being forced to medically retire from football due to a severe back injury that included several bulging discs. Now, another offensive lineman will be taking a medical scholarship and won’t be playing football for Tennessee again.
According to a report from 247Sports, redshirt sophomore Devante Brooks’ career at Tennessee is over due to injuries. While the specific injury causing him to get a medical scholarship wasn’t disclosed, a source inside UT’s program told 247Sports that Brooks will no longer be playing football. Tennessee will reportedly honor Brooks’ scholarship as he works towards his degree, but his football scholarship is now available, and he won’t count against Tennessee’s 85 scholarship limit on their roster.
The news was actually first mentioned by former Vol and current radio host Jayson Swain earlier this week on his show, The Swain Event.
The 6-foot-5, 292-pound offensive lineman has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his playing career. He tore his ACL in both his junior and senior seasons in high school. This year, he rarely practiced with the team due to an undisclosed injury.
Brooks joined the Vols in their 2016 signing class as a tight end, but he was eventually developed into an offensive lineman under UT’s previous coaching staff. As a redshirt freshman in 2017, he made four starts on the offensive line down the stretch of the season as Tennessee’s offensive line dealt with a number of injuries to starters and backups. Those were the only four games Brooks appeared in during his Tennessee career.
Antonutti will remain a part of Tennessee’s football team, as he will be a student coach for the team. It remains to be seen if Brooks will take a similar role, but as of right now he is not.
Tennessee signed four offensive linemen in the early signing period of the 2019 recruiting cycle this week. Five-star Wanya Morris, four-star Jackson Lampley, three-star Melvin McBride, and three-star Chris Akporoghene all signed with the Vols on Wednesday of this week. Tennessee is also considered the favorites to land five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright on the February signing day.