Four-star Tennessee Vols defensive end signee Dylan Brooks has officially asked for his release from that program, according to multiple sources.
Brooks, a one-time Auburn target from Roanoke (Ala.) Handley who committed to the Vols last spring, made the decision Monday after Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, two assistants and multiple staffers were fired — and he submitted a National Letter of Intent Release Request on Tuesday, Auburn Undercover has learned.
Since Pruitt’s firing, Brooks has seriously contemplated his future and now it’s almost certain that future will not be in Knoxville, Tenn. Brooks is close with many members of the Vols staff, including defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, but Pruitt’s presence as head of the program was the biggest reason he chose that school. With Pruitt gone, Brooks hopes to find a new home, according to sources.
Brooks is not an early enrollee, but he did sign a National Letter-of-Intent with the Vols on Dec. 16. To get out of that, he had to first fill out the National Letter of Intent Release Request. Tennessee, our understanding is, would then have to grant him a release for him to be eligible in 2021.
Per nationalletter.org, without a release “the NLI basic penalty is that you lose one year of competition in all sports and must serve one year in residence at your next NLI institution.”
In a release request, athletes have to present the reasons they want a release, including any “extenuating circumstances.” The site notes, “The merits of each case are different, which is why the committee determines what constitutes extenuating on a case-by-case basis and what life event changed after signing the NLI. … If an institution denies your request for a complete release, you may petition the NLI Policy and Review Committee for Division I.”
If Brooks is granted a release, Auburn and other schools would then be able to contact and recruit him again. It’s our opinion, if Brooks doesn’t stick with the Vols, Auburn would very likely be his landing spot. It has always been one of his top schools and finished second to Tennessee last spring. He has a great familiarity with the program and the community. He has family who attended Auburn and played for the Tigers, notably former Auburn receiver Jeris McIntyre. His parents would be comfortable with Dylan at Auburn. And, he is friends with numerous Auburn 2021 signees.
Would Auburn still want him? We believe the answer is, yes.
The Tigers have a major need for pass rushers. Apparently Brooks has slimmed down some and now is 6-feet-5 and 240 pounds.