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Dylan Brooks, Tennessee’s highest-ranked signee in the 2021 class, requests release from program

Expected, but still a big blow.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

More so than ever now in college football, coaching changes mean players leaving the program — even the ones that just got here. Late on Tuesday night, news came down from 247Sports that Dylan Brooks has requested his release from his NLI.

Brooks was Tennessee’s highest-rated commitment, coming at a big position of need. The 6-5, 250 pound edge rusher was the 51st ranked player in the 247Sports composite.

The Vols have been searching for an impact pass rusher since Darrell Taylor left, and Brooks was likely going to get his shot to contribute right out of the gates. Additionally, Auburn transfer ‘Big Kat’ Bryant has deleted his commitment tweet that came over the weekend, but no official news has been confirmed there.

With Deandre Johnson transferring to Miami and Kivon Bennett no longer with the program, outside linebacker is a massive immediate need on this roster for the next head coach. It’s extremely likely that you see more fallout here on the roster, even with some veterans within the program.

Kevin Steele has been named the interim head coach through all of this and has been given the impossible task of trying to keep a locker room together. Tennessee first has to hire an athletics director before the search for a football coach can truly begin. In the meantime, things are probably only going to get uglier in Knoxville.