Jalen Brooks, Sophomore, Linebacker, No. 43
Collegiate stats: 21 tackles (12 solo), two passes defensed
High school: North Gwinnett (Suwannee, Ga.)
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, one blocked kick
Composite recruiting rating: Three stars (0.8156), 114th-best outside linebacker in the country, 124th-best player in Georgia
Who Maryland beat: Air Force, Navy, Yale
High school highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Brooks chose a scholarship offer from Maryland over offers from the Air Force and Navy the summer before his senior season. He was a bit of a mystery to Terp fans before arriving in College Park as he was not originally rated by any of the four main recruiting sites. He played his first three high school seasons at safety before eventually making the switch to linebacker for his senior year, when his team went 11-2. He is a great student, as evidenced by the schools recruiting him (other than Air Force and Navy, he was also talking to Harvard, Yale and Princeton) as well as the fact he was an All Big-Ten Academic selection last season.
At North Gwinnett, Brooks also lettered in track and wrestling. He finished 4th in the state of Georgia for wrestling his junior year at 195 pounds and sixth his senior year at 220 pounds.
Recording a career-high seven tackles at Penn State last season.
He starts at outside linebacker and registers 50+ tackles on the season, helping ease the pressure on the untested defensive line.
With the change to the new 4-3 defensive scheme, things are going to look a bit different on defense for the Terps. Especially with the departures of Keith Bowers, Darius Kilgo, and Andre Monroe from the defensive line. Their absence means that a handful of linebackers have already made the switch to the line, including Yannick Ngakoue, Cavon Walker and Jesse Aniebonam. This means the three linebacking spots will need to be filled, and going into spring, the favorites to do that seemed to be Jermaine Carter Jr., Abner Logan, UConn transfer Jefferson Ashiru and Brooks. Brooks was able to turn in a solid campaign last season as a redshirt freshman, and if he continues on an upward trajectory there is no reason why he can't be a starter at OLB and an above-average contributor this year on defense.
Our next player will look to leave opposing receivers All Shook Up this season.
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