Maryland hosted a couple four-star class of 2017 recruits following the dead recruiting period, including Benedictine (Richmond, Va.) linebacker Ellis Brooks. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder trekked up to College Park, Md., for the first time July 14, joined by his mother and father.
“The Maryland visit was a really good time,” said Brooks, who has offers from UMD, Duke, UNC, NC State, Va Tech and Wake Forest. “I really liked all the coaches there. They seem like they showed their true front. I mean, the personalities they were showing, it was like they weren’t acting or anything and didn’t change because I was there. They just showed great hospitality towards me and my family, and everyone seemed like they had a great relationship with one another. It was very easy to get along with everyone.”
Brooks said he mainly interacted with his area recruiter, Chad Wilt, who showed the family around campus and answered any questions they had. The Benedictine product also had a chance to meet head coach Randy Edsall and defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski.
“I talked to pretty much everybody when I went down there,” Brooks said. “Coach Wilt was just telling me how much he likes me as a player and a person. He likes my family too, and he said I have the whole package. He asked how school is going, things like that. We have a great relationship, and [Wilt] is a pretty cool guy. He’s fun to talk to.
“And Coach Edsall was pretty impressive too. He seems like he has set goals, and I like that in a person. He also has a drive in him that you want to see in a head coach. He seemed like he really cared about his players too. He’s a great guy.”
In addition to staff interactions, Brooks pointed to the campus tour and Under Armour gear as highlights. He said Byrd was “really cool,” while he loved checking out the different jersey combinations.
“And they’re building these new facilities there that are going to be awesome,” Brooks said. “These new practice fields and things like that, they’re going to be top of the line.”
The Benedictine product also mentioned his parents were “really impressed” with the school and coaches, and that Maryland’s academics stood out as well.
Brooks will likely return to College Park for a game this fall. But while he thinks highly of the Terps and Wilt, he mentioned he has no early leaders or standouts.
“No schools I’ve seen have stood out more than the others yet,” Brooks said. “I want to make sure I see all the schools looking at me and give everyone a chance. So far I’ve liked every place I’ve been to.”
Besides UMD, Brooks has ventured out to Penn State, Duke, Va Tech, NC State and ECU. He’s trying to hit Wake Forest and UNC before summer vacation ends and football workouts begin in earnest.
Brooks was just at PSU the day after tripping to Maryland.
“Penn State was really great too. The faculties were awesome, and they put together a really good package there,” Brooks said. “I got to see everything, walk on the field, see the uniforms, watch a workout and talk to Coach [James] Franklin. Penn State was great; I hope they offer.”
The Nittany Lions aren’t the only program that could enter the mix for Brooks in short order. He said South Carolina, Rutgers, West Virginia, Rutgers and others have all been in contact.
“There’s really not any offers I’m looking for right now, just trying to see what comes and go from there,” Brooks said. “I did watch Penn State a lot growing up because my cousin played there, and I watched UVA a lot too since my other cousin played there. But I really don’t have any dream schools or anything like that.”
Brooks said the main factors in his recruitment will be, first and foremost, academics, followed by player-coach relationships.
“Education is big for me,” Brooks said. “And I want to be able to trust my coaches; that’s huge.”
A pure MIKE backer, Brooks is coming off a season where he recorded 121 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, four recoveries and 12 tackles for loss.
Terps Visit Impresses 4-Star VA LB
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