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Former 2022 Volunteer Signs Letter of Intent with The Rock’s XFL

Paxton Brooks
KNOXVILLE, TN – October 16, 2021 – Punter Paxton Brooks #37 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Former Tennessee punter Paxton Brooks looks to be making his way to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s XFL.

A social media post from XFL’s public relations account on Wednesday revealed that Brooks had officially signed a letter of intent with the D.C. Defenders for the upcoming XFL season. Brooks is also listed on the Defenders’ official roster on the website.

Brooks joins two former Tennessee tight ends on the Defenders’ team with Alex Ellis and Ethan Wolfe.

The Defenders finished the 2023 XFL regular season with a 9-1 record which was the best in the league. D.C. fell to the Arlington Renegades in the 2023 Championship game. Former Tennessee wide receiver JaVonta Payton was an impact player in the Renegades’ run to the championship title.

More from RTI: Notre Dame? Music City? New Bowl Projections For Tennessee Football at the Season Halfway Point

Brooks recorded 38 punts during the 2022 season and averaged 39.1 yards per punt for a total of 1,486 yards. Twenty of Brooks’ 38 punts were fair caught and 11 landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

In total, Brooks recorded 6,900 punting yards during his five-year career on Rocky Top along with 68 fair catches and 58 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

Following his final season in Knoxville, Brooks was invited to the 2023 NFL Combine and earned his Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in December 2022.

Brooks is one of 16 former SEC players on the Defenders’ roster joining the two former Tennessee tight ends, Georgia’s Davin Bellamy, D’Marcus Hayes, and Warren Ericson, Ole Miss’ Fadol Brown, Mississippi State’s Tommy Champion, Arkansas’ Ty Clark and Santos Ramirez, Texas A&M’s Anthony Hines, Missouri’s Michael Maietti, Vanderbilt’s Andre Mintze, Kentucky’s Dare Rosenthal, South Carolina’s DJ Swearinger, and Auburn’s Gabe Wright.

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