Jalen Brooks, Freshman (RS), Inside linebacker, No. 43
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Year): 93 tackles (67 solo), 15 tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), one pass defended, 16 quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick
247sports composite Ratings: Three stars, 114th-best outside linebacker in the country, 124th-best player in Georgia
Who Maryland beat: Air Force, Navy, Yale
High School: North Gwinnett
Hometown: Suwanne, Ga.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Brooks began his high school career as a safety, but, after accepting the offer from Maryland, moved to linebacker as a senior at North Gwinnett. In his senior year, the Bulldogs went 11-2 and reached the third round of the playoffs. (We should also note that he followed another North Gwinnett graduate to Maryland. She led her team to the state finals and helped the women's basketball team reach the Final Four this past March. That would be one Lexie Brown.)
Brooks committed early to Maryland, jumping aboard in July before starting his senior year. At the time, he was lightly recruited and very much an unknown commodity - none of the four recruiting sites had given him a rating. But Brooks is clearly a smart young man. Two of his offers prior to Maryland came from the service academies and Maryland's biggest competition may have been three Ivy League schools - Yale, Harvard and Princeton. He listed the business school at Maryland and the move to the Big Ten as factors in his decision, and, though he didn't mention it the fact that crabs are his favorite food might also have tipped the scales in favor of the Terps. It should surprise no one that his intelligence shines through in this interview with Matt Bracken:
"It's not so isolated on the education part, and it's not just focused on football," he said. "It's the best of both worlds...I just know that Maryland has a great reputation of being a top college, especially its business school. The ACC is already a top conference, and moving to the Big Ten is an even higher level. All the money is going to come in and feed the academic programs and research. That was pretty big."
One other important note: Brooks was a high school wrestler. He placed fourth at the Georgia High School State Wrestling Championships as a senior.
Profiling the entire team
Brooks served a redshirt season last year.
"J-Breezy" (Last year Volk called him Jalen Brookheimer because he wants to produce movies.)
Committing to Maryland.
Brooks sees plenty of playing time backing up L.A. Goree at ILB and sets himself up to grab a starting job in 2015.
Brooks redshirted his freshman year and he used the time to shrink an inch but added some ten pounds of muscle.
That extra muscle might be helpful since Brooks was listed third at inside linebacker behind L.A. Goree and Abner Logan on the spring depth chart. However, with Logan's suspension, that moves him up to being the principal backup behind Goree. Unfortunately, Brooks fell victim to an injury in the spring and was hampered in showing how much he could contribute. Still, with what once looked to be a position of real depth for the Terps thinning out, it's probable that a healthy Brooks will see significant playing time in Maryland's inaugural B1G season.
With Cole Farrand, Matt Robinson, and Alex Twine all graduating after this season, and with no linebackers currently in the 2015 class, Brooks will have an opportunity to shine and perhaps solidify a starting spot heading into 2015.
Drawing on his extensive movie knowledge, Brooks noted that our next player shares his last name with a character first made famous by Michael Caine and then by Sylvester Stallone in a remake nearly 30 years later.
Daniel Hamilton is catching up!
Daniel Hamilton: 5