Brooks optimistic about Vols' future

InsideTennessee is the best website around for Vols fans to get all the best and latest Tennessee athletics news. Scroll down to read about a fast-rising tight end prospect who is high on the Vols.

As to be expected, Tennessee isn't racing to sign a tight end in the 2015 class with the additions of Ethan Wolf and Daniel Helm from the previous year.

However, the Vols have started searching for the perfect tight end prospect in the 2016 class. And Devante Brooks certainly appears to be a worthy candidate.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pounder has seen his recruitment take off recently. He's picked up five offers over the last three weeks, including scholarships from Tennessee, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Nebraska and more.

Brooks said Virginia Tech and Tennessee are recruiting him hardest at the moment and he'd like to visit both programs this summer. He has tentative plans to trip to Knoxville on July 19.

"I'm very excited by Tennessee," Brooks told InsideTennessee. "That one really means a lot to me. I like the Vols."

Brooks' high interest in Tennessee is largely due to his relationship with Vols tight ends coach Mark Elder.

"He's just easy to talk to. He's nice and calm. I like him. He's not one of those coaches who is all business all the time," Brooks told IT. "I really like talking to him. He checks in on me and asks how I'm doing and he's very honest.

"I talk to coach Elder regularly. We have a really, really strong relationship. Me and him, we really have a great relationship. He's a really great man."

Over the past few weeks, the Washington, D.C. native has done a lot of researching on Tennessee. And he's liked what he's found.

"There's just a rich history there. It would just be a great place to be a part of," Brooks said. "Overall, the school sounds very attractive and just seems like it has everything you could as for as a player. Also, not going to lie, I'm a huge Jason Witten fan and he went there. So, that's pretty cool."

On top of Tennessee's traditions and his relationship with Elder, Brooks said he "really likes" the way tight ends are used in the Vols' up-tempo system.

"Coach Elder is always telling me tight ends are a big part of what they do," Brook said. "He tells me I'm a great fit and I'll get the chance to catch some balls and make some plays. I really like that."

Brooks said the two biggest factors in his still-growing recruitment will be academics and finding a program that offers stability.

Brooks is aware of Tennessee's recent struggles, but after conversations with Elder, he's confident losing seasons in Big Orange Country are soon to be a thing of the past.

"Coach Elder is just so genuine and excited when he talks about the future. I know they're headed in the right direction," Brooks said. "I really believe him. He's just so honest about it. He has he knows there will be some tough times ahead, but the pieces are in place."

Brooks said he's picked up recent interest from Penn State and Northwestern.

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