Commitment Date: July 8, 2012
Hometown: Suwanee, GA
High School: North Gwinnett High School
Weight: 220 lbs.
ESPN Rank: #85 OLB, 3-star
Scout.com Rank: #132 OLB, 2-star
Rivals Rank: N/A, 3-star OLB
247Sports Rank: #135 OLB, 3-star
40 time: N/A
Other Offers: Air Force, Ball State, Charlotte, Elon, Navy, Wofford.
Randy Edsall came into last season with a ton of talent at the linebacker position. The problem was that 3 of his 4 starters at linebacker were seniors. Those 3 guys are gone, and the only player remaining in that group is inside linebacker Cole Farrand. So naturally Coach Edsall made it a point to recruit a plethora of linebackers this year. Jalen Brooks is just one of the many linebackers in this year’s class.
ESPN describes Brooks as a true outside linebacker, who will fit well into defensive coordinator Brian Stewart’s 3-4 defensive scheme. His two best skills are his outside run support and his coverage skills. He obviously has some versatility within the defense, and should play a role similar to Jarrett Johnson’s when he was playing for the Ravens. He is not a pass rusher, and will play best when played opposite a good pass rusher.
Brooks’ only skills don’t come on the football field though. Hidden in his signing is his stellar academic record. Brooks received interest from many Ivy League schools, such as Harvard and Yale. It’s definitely impressive to coaches to have a player who obviously places so much emphasis on his academics. Randy Edsall is very high on his players getting a solid education while they play for him, so Jalen should fit very well into his coach’s scheme.
Brooks has an opportunity to contribute a lot for the Terps very soon. He is one of the top linebackers in Randy Edsall’s 2013 class, and should be able to compete with Marcus Whitfield, Alex Twine, and Avery Thompson for significant playing time at outside linebacker. He will also compete with other incoming freshmen such as Derrick Hayward, Jermaine Carter, and Elvis Dennah. Look for Jalen Brooks to play significant roles on the Terps’ defense in the next year or two.