Tennessee football: Vols lose top recruit Dylan Brooks over Jeremy Pruitt firing

Dylan Brooks will not suit up for Tennessee football after he was granted a release from his National Letter of Intent.

The top recruit in the Tennessee football recruiting class has been lost due to the firing of Jeremy Pruitt and the hiring of Josh Heupel. Dylan Brooks has been granted a release from his National Letter of Intent, citing extenuating circumstances — the firing of Pruitt and his assistants.

Brooks is the nation’s No. 76 overall recruit, No.6 weakside defensive end and the No. 4 recruit from the state of Alabama.

As part of his release, Tennessee initially imposed a block on Brooks from attending any other SEC programs. However, that has since been removed and he is free to sign and enroll with any program of his choosing.

Dylan Brooks leaving Tennessee could be Auburn’s gain

The Roanoke, Alabama native is expected to sign and enroll with the Auburn Tigers, which would be a significant addition for Bryan Harsin’s class that was lackluster after the firing of Gus Malzahn and transition to Harsin.

Tennessee had the No. 17 recruiting class in the nation and No. 6 in the SEC after National Signing Day in early February but the defection of Brooks will drop them in the recruiting rankings.

Provided Brooks does eventually commit to Auburn, the Tigers will receive a significant jolt up the recruiting rankings where they currently reside as the No. 27 overall class and No. 10 in the SEC.

That’s just not good enough for Auburn football to compete with Alabama who annually has the nation’s top classes as well as division rival LSU and crossover rival Georgia, who both have top-four classes.

Adding Brooks, a player who has been compared to former NC State end and No. 5 pick of the Denver Broncos, Bradley Chubb, he could be a game-changer for Harsin’s program who has a history of developing high-end talent on the defensive line.

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