Linebacker Dylan Brooks was released from his national letter of intent by Tennessee on Friday and found a new home just one day later. The four-star defensive end prospect in the Class of 2021 announced that he will sign with Auburn and first-year coach Bryan Harsin.
Brooks is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound edge threat from Handley High School in Roanoke, Alabama — roughly 44 miles from Auburn’s campus. He was the No. 76-ranked player in the most recent recruiting cycle and the sixth-ranked weak-side defensive end.
“That’s the best place for me,” Brooks told 247Sports. “I just want to stay home — 334.”
Brooks signed with Tennessee during the early signing period in 2020, but pursued his release from Tennessee after the Volunteers fired coach Jeremy Pruitt on Jan. 18. He was the highest-ranked high school player to sign with the Volunteers in the Class of 2021 and will hold the same designation as the newest member of the Tigers’ signing class. Brooks told 247Sports that meetings with Harsin, linebackers coach Bert Watts and defensive line coach Nick Eason helped solidify his decision.
“They’re real genuine guys,” he said. “Coach Harsin — he’s just straight forward. He’s not going to beat around the bush with you. He’s going to tell you the truth. I also talked to Coach Watts and he’s a good dude, too. And Coach Eason.”
His new coaches will have a decision to make. Brooks’ size and speed could be used in a variety of ways along the defensive line. Charles Power, national writer for 247Sports, provided this scouting report on Brooks.
“Tall with a big frame and long arms,” Power wrote. “Has room to fill out considerably once in a college strength program. Quick and explosive off the ball. Shows the ability to transition speed to power and overwhelm offensive linemen at the point of attack. Flexible off the edge, dipping with bend as he rounds the arc. Plays fast and tracks down plays in pursuit with impressive speed. Disenages from blocks and looks to embrace contact. Also shows his athleticism by dropping into space at linebacker and contributing on offense as a wide receiver. Will need to continue working on his tackling and finishing. Plays relatively low competition and should see an uptick in production as a senior with continued improvement. Projects as a a multi-year starter at the Power Five level with the upside to be an early round NFL Draft pick.”
His commitment to Auburn elevates the Tigers’ recruiting class to No. 20 in the most recent cycle.