RECRUITING: A peach from the Peach State

Tennessee reportedly is one of five schools who have offered scholarships to one of the Peach State's most promising linebacker/defensive end prospects.

Jasper Brooks is a 6-3, 210-pounder who will attend Redan High as a senior after spending the previous two years at Towers High. Brooks' 4.78 speed over 40 yards helped him record 99 tackles last fall, including seven sacks. That imposing tackle total caught the attention of a lot of college scouts.

"I have offers from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Tulane, Alabama and Mississippi State so far," Brooks told Ryan Jordan of "I like Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, Georgia and Georgia Tech. My main favorite school is Miami right now. I just like how aggressive they are on defense and I like the area it's in."

Although Brooks has the quickness to play linebacker, many scouts believe he'll grow into a defensive end at the collegiate level. That's where he hopes to play, as well.

"I'd also prefer to play defensive end but if I have to play linebacker then I'll do it," he said. "I just know more about that position."

Sylvester Croom seems to be Brooks' biggest fan. The Mississippi State head coach apparently has made him a recruiting priority this year.

"I'd say Mississippi State is recruiting me the hardest right now," Brooks told Jordan. "They send me text messages all the time and they're always checking up on me."

Tennessee clearly needs reinforcements at defensive end. The Vols will say goodbye to both of their starting ends (Parys Haralson, Jason Hall) at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Two more ends (junior Turk McBride, sophomore Jared Hostetter) appear to be settling in at tackle. Yet another end, freshman Robert Ayers, is currently suspended pending the outcome of an assault charge.

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