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5-star defensive end Dylan Brooks commits to Tennessee

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The #1 player in the state of Alabama comes to Tennessee.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee football has continued its stellar recruiting into the 2021 cycle. 5-star defensive end Dylan Brooks made a surprise announcement Sunday afternoon, announcing his commitment to the Volunteers.

This commitment is, to put it lightly, a big deal.

The first thing to notice is Brooks’ ranking: 5-stars. The 247Sports composite currently has him as the 18th overall player nationally and the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the country. He is also the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama.

Brooks achieved that lofty ranking by showcasing a hyperathletic testing profile in high school. The most obvious trait is the explosion off the line. Not only does Brooks show off elite quickness after the ball is snapped, his bend around offensive linemen lets him get to the quarterback faster than they can realize what’s going on. When he gets there, the end result is a devastating hit. That punch and raw power means Brooks is already working with a full arsenal, he just needs more refinement and a college strength and conditioning program. Brooks is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, meaning he hasn’t completely filled out his frame just yet.

The bigger storyline here is how fast Tennessee gained his commitment. The Volunteers were always a team in the running, but it was assumed they were behind both Auburn and Alabama. But word started making the rounds Sunday morning that Tennessee was gaining major momentum in his recruitment. By 2:00 p.m., it resulted in a commitment.

Brooks’ announcement means Tennessee has landed their superstar on the defensive line—and it’s not even May. How they recruit the position from here on out will be a topic of later discussion. For now, just enjoy the fact that Tennessee managed to go into the state of Alabama and beat both in-state programs for the top player.

Brooks is the highest ranked commit of the 2021 Tennessee class. He brings their overall class ranking to 13th overall and 3rd in the SEC.