Brooks Picks Up First Offer From Maryland

St. John's College High School (Washington, D.C.) sophomore tight end/defensive end Devante Brooks has only been playing tackle football for three years, yet he just picked up his first offer from Maryland. The German-native talks about his transition to the American game, and how he feels about his first offer with

St. John's College High School (Washington, D.C.) sophomore tight end/defensive end Devante Brooks has only been playing tackle football for three years and yet he just picked up his first college offer from Maryland.

"I went to [Maryland's] 7-on-7 a few weeks ago; and Monday the week after, my coaches told me to call the Maryland coaches. I called them on Wednesday and they set up a time for my mom and I. We set up a date for me to visit on Friday," Brooks said. "When I went out to the school, I sat down with my mom and the coaches and that is when they offered."

The 6-foot-6, 218-pound Brooks was born in Germany and lived there up until three years ago when his father was transferred to a military base in the Washington D.C. area. In Germany, Brooks played soccer, basketball, and flag football, however, the flag football he played in Germany is much different then the football he is playing now.

"The game is completely different. There is no contact, and it is only flags. I really had to acclimate myself to all the contact in football," Brooks said. "The biggest difference is probably blocking and hitting. I had no idea about that stuff, it is just totally different."

Not to mention that English is not even Brooks' first language.

"I went to German school from kindergarten to first grade and then from then on I actually went to American school on the military base. That's where I learned English," Brooks said. "There were a lot of things I had to adjust to when I moved to America, I am I am still pretty new but I have definitely come a long way."

Brooks started playing contact football in eighth grade, when he first enrolled at St. John's.

"It was very challenging for me at first. I really had to study hard and study a lot to just make sure I knew what plays we had to do and what everything means," Brooks said. "It took a little bit of tutoring and getting used to everything, but I got the hang of it. Now that I am used to everything it is just about consistently studying everything."

In just two full years Brooks' has seen significant improvements in his game.

"Now that I can learn by myself and practice by myself, I have actually improved a lot," Brooks said. "I know what I have to do. I work on all the fundamentals to make sure I keep getting better and stronger, and I feel like I am progressing pretty well."

"The game is definitely slowing down a lot." Brooks said. "Everything used to be really fast and I used to worry about what to do, but now I am getting the hang of everything and getting a lot more confident."

Brooks' confidence should be sky-high after picking up his first offer from a big-time program like Maryland.

"It meant a lot that Maryland was the first to offer. I didn't think I would hear a lot from them at all and you know, I never really talked much to them," Brooks said. "So it felt really good to get the offer after the 7-on-7. It was really surprising."

Brooks and his mother went to College Park the day he picked up his offer, and they got a chance to sit down with head coach Randy Edsall as well as Mike Locksley to learn a little bit more about the program.

"[Locksley] just talked about the university. He wanted to show me how great the school is, academically and athletically," Brooks said. "He talked about how they are moving to the Big Ten, so the competition is going to be even great. We also talked a lot about the education."

Brooks' mom was also impressed with the coaching staff's message.

"They were just saying everyone is held to a high standard, and they are going to do their best to make you your best," Brooks said. "My mom was there when they offered and she started to tear up a little bit," Brooks said. "She was very excited, and she really loved what she heard about the school and everything."

The St. John's stand out was also impressed with Maryland's facilities.

I really love the stadium. I haven't seen much else of the campus yet and I haven't taken a tour, but the stadium was beautiful," Brooks said. I really loved playing on the new turf, it was a great experience."

Brooks hopes to get a close look at the whole campus when he returns for his next visit, which could be in the very near future.

"I may try and go down this weekend for their camp or something," Brooks said. "If not, I will definitely try and go to a couple of their games. I definitely want to make it to their WVU game."

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