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Vols Land Commitment from 5-Star Edge Rusher

(Photo via Tim Altork/The Randolph Leader)

One area Tennessee has struggled to recruit under head coach Jeremy Pruitt is edge rusher. The Vols got a little more luck with that spot in the 2020 class, but UT hasn’t been able to land one of the top edge rushers in a recruiting cycle in a while.

That looks to be changing with the 2021 class.

Five-star weak-side defensive end Dylan Brooks took to Twitter on Sunday to announce his commitment to the Vols. The No. 1 prospect out of the state of Alabama chose Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, and many others.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Brooks is the No. 18 overall prospect, No. 1 weak-side defensive end, and No. 1 recruit in the state of Alabama in the 2021 class. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound defender plays for Handley High School in Roanoke, Alabama.

Brooks has been a frequent visitor to Tennessee’s campus. The last trip he took before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down recruiting visits was to Knoxville, attending a Junior Day event on March 7th. He was also on campus for a Junior Day event on January 18th and attended the Vols’ regular season finale against Vanderbilt in 2019.

Charles Power, a national recruiting analyst for 247Sports, compares Brooks to current Denver Broncos defender Bradley Chubb, who played for NC State and racked up 25 sacks and 54.5 tackles for loss in his Wolfpack career.

In an April interview with Ben Thomas of, Brooks said Tennessee appealed to him because of the strong ties UT’s coaching staff has to his home state and because of his ability to play early at UT.

“Most of the staff is from Alabama. All of them are like good dudes,” Brooks told Thomas. “I might could play there a little earlier than some other places. I also like Knoxville a lot and have some family there.”

On the field, Brooks is a dynamic edge rusher who uses his athleticism and long arms to bully blockers. He plays very quick and has great explosiveness at the point of attack. He even plays on offense for Handley, seeing time as a wide receiver.

As a junior, Brooks totaled 65 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. Over the last two seasons, Brooks has accumulated 120 total tackles, 33 TFLs, and 16 sacks.

Brooks is now the gem of Tennessee’s 2021 recruiting class, giving the Vols their first five-star commit of the cycle. He’s UT’s 11th public commitment in the class and is the second edge rusher to commit to the Vols, joining three-star strong-side defensive end Darrell Jackson.

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