Miami Defensive Lineman Draws Attention

As signing day nears, Fighting Illini football coaches are scrambling to find top prospects to add to their recruiting list. Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore is scouring South Florida for talent, and he may have found one in Jamaine Brooks.

Illinois d-line coach Keith Gilmore stopped by Miami Palmetto High School Tuesday to talk to defensive tackle prospect Jamaine Brooks.

"Coach Gilmore came in today as a matter of fact. He got all of my stuff and info. He really liked me. He's trying to get my on an unofficial."

Brooks's recruitment has taken off in recent weeks as BCS schools have discovered his potential.

"Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida State, and obviously Illinois are amongst the schools who have been showing interest recently. Tennessee State has offered, and they're in my top three along with Wisconsin and Florida State."

The 6'-4", 315 pound lineman is versatile.

"I played every position on the line. I played nose guard, defensive tackle, and defensive end. Illinois is looking at me as a tackle. I have the height, the weight, and the speed necessary to be a defensive lineman. I feel like I'm an overall defensive lineman.

"Some players only have certain aspects of a lineman, but I feel I have them all. If I can get the right coach, I feel like I can get to the NFL."

Still, Brooks knows he has some things to work on.

"I want to work on my speed, to improve my squatting for better explosion, and to get faster off the ball. Those are the things every lineman needs."

The defensive lineman recorded more than 50 tackles and had 9 sacks this past season, but his team didn't make the playoffs.

"We could have made the playoffs, but we didn't because we lost two district games. They were real close. Those two games made the difference for the playoffs. We still had a good season. We went 7-3."

Brooks stays in shape by participating in track and field.

"I do shotput and discus for track in the spring. I was going to do wrestling, but I'm just lifting weights and running."

Brooks would like to study business in college.

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