The past few days on Rocky Top have been interesting, to say the least. In what seems to be a never-ending cycle of bad news surrounding the Tennessee Volunteers, the hits keep coming. Late last night, Keith Niebuhr of 247sports reported that Dylan Brooks has requested a release from his National Letter of Intent following Pruitt’s firing.
While this might not come as much of a surprise, this is certainly a devastating blow to the Vols’ recruiting class. Brooks was a fringe 5-star recruit from the state of Alabama who committed to Tennessee early on. Brooks seemed committed to Tennessee, so long as Tennessee remained committed to Jeremy Pruitt. Following this week’s events, the 51st overall player in the country no longer feels at home in Tennessee.
With Brooks presumably no longer a part of the 2021 class, the highest-rated recruit remaining is LB Aaron Willis. Willis is the 130th overall player in the country and is one of eight 4-stars remaining for Tennessee. The official signing day still isn’t for 2 weeks, but as we can all see, nothing truly matters until these recruits get to campus.
It is important to remember that with a coaching change, major turnover is bound to happen.
This is most definitely a significant loss, as Brooks would have contributed from day one. However, don’t be surprised if some bigger names announce their decision to leave too. As painful as this might seem right now, remember that it is necessary for serious change to finally happen. Keep in mind, the majority of these kids committed to a coach, not the university. If they feel slighted and want to leave, they don’t deserve any hate for it. This is their future on the line, and they want to do what they feel is best.
As for Tennessee, all that matters now is who the next AD and coach will be. The right coach will find a way to win, regardless of the talent level on campus. Just look at Sam Pittman and Lane Kiffin. Once a coach establishes himself at Tennessee, the talent will follow. Until then, we as fans have to trust the administration to do the right thing for the first time in over a decade.