Tampa (Fla.) linebacker DeCalon Brooks is proud of his roots, but is also eager to make a name for himself as he inches closer to a college decision.
The son of Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, DeCalon is considered a top-echelon linebacker himself. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound prospect is ranked as the No. 50 overall inside linebacker in the 2017 class, including the 5th-best in Florida.
His recruitment is now beginning to reflect that ranking.
“I want to be my own person as well,” DeCalon said. “My parents always told me when going to a school, make sure it’s not because of who my dad is, make sure you’re recruiting me because my name is DeCalon Brooks. Make sure they’re recruiting me because of me.”
That is certainly the case.
Brooks now holds offers from the likes of Florida State, Iowa State, Illinois, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and others as his recruitment progresses. The Cyclones saw Brooks at Sound Mind Sound Body in Tampa recently and quickly extended him an offer.
“To be honest, I didn’t know they were interested prior to it,” Brooks said. “When I got to the camp, they were talking to me at drills where I was at and after the camp my head coach actually told me that they offered me. I was like, ‘Oh, they’re actually interested.’”
Iowa State, which is attempting to reload the program’s linebacker position with the 2017 recruiting class, will likely take just one more linebacker for 2017. Brooks has quickly become one of coach Matt Campbell’s top priorities.
The Cyclones have also kept in touch through linebacker’s coach Tyson Veidt.
“What he said was that I’m a great player and would fit really well in their defense. They said I would fit well in their defense and they were excited to get to the recruiting process with me,” Brooks said of his conversations with Veidt. “They like the way I play with speed and the way I get to the hole. I play aggressive, so they would see me playing one of the inside ‘backers, filling the gaps like I do now with my high school team.”
Brooks is getting help through the recruiting process from his father, who was a two-time consensus All-American at Florida State. Currently, the two are planning out trips to potentially make before the end of the summer.
The dead period lifts in mid-July, and Iowa State could get a visit.
“I would like to get up there sometime, but we’re still just planning it out,” Brooks said. “Right now me and my father are still planning out the visits I’m going to take. We’re just planning to get out and we’re going to see if we can get up there.”
Brooks doesn’t have a timeline for a decision, but is focused on a few factors.
“Some of the key factors are that it’s a team that just loves to play football, loves playing with the group of guys they have and the group of guys play with passion,” Brooks said. “As far as the school, the school has to have a good educational program and a good atmosphere and I feel comfortable with me being at that school.
“I’m still just trying to find the best school for me and when I make the decision or if I decide to commit, I’m going to be a man of my bond and stick with that school.”