During Week 6 of his senior season, DuVal (Lanham, Md.) athlete Antoine Brooks suffered a devastating injury that promptly ended his final high school campaign. Taking a vicious hit from a Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) linebacker, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Brooks went down with a compound fracture in his ankle, in addition to a broken wrist.
"It was really hard at first, just to go down like that in your last high school season. It was difficult to deal with," Brooks said. "But I kept my head up, my teammates all supported me, and now everything is going fine. My boot is off my foot, I'm doing some light jogging now, and I'm doing well in rehab. My therapist and my doctor both said I'm doing very well.
"But it's going to be awhile yet until I'm fully healthy. I think my doctor said another 3-4 months."
Not surprisingly, Brooks' recruitment took a hit in the wake of the injury. He had numerous potential power-five suitors prior to the injury, but many backed away post compound fracture. That said, a few programs have remained in contact with him.
"I'm still getting calls and visits. Buffalo just came in to see me, UMass was in, Towson came in and Maryland just came in," Brooks said. "I think Buffalo might have a greyshirt offer out to me, because they have to see about one class I'm taking, but UMass and Towson are firm offers. Maryland hasn't offered yet, but they're very interested."
Indeed, UMD assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim trekked through DuVal Jan. 20 to meet with Brooks and his coaches. Previously, Brooks said he met new Maryland headman D.J. Durkin.
"Coach Durkin was in before, and he was a really cool guy. And then Coach Rahim came by, and I really liked him too," Brooks said. "He was telling me they really like me at Maryland and think I can really help them. He said they'd love to have me there.
"But he didn't say anything about an offer yet or anything. He was asking about my injury, my SATs, the usual. He took my transcripts and said he'd be getting back to me."
It's possible, given Brooks' injury situation, the Terps could extend a greyshirt offer as well. If so, Brooks said he'd consider it.
"It's the hometown school, it's a good school, and I like what they're doing up there," Brooks said. "It would be a chance for me to stay home and play in front of my family. My dad, he actually works in the maintenance department at Maryland, and I've been up there for camps and things. I like it up there. I mean, I'm kind of the guy that likes to get out and go on adventures, but Maryland would be a great option for me."
Brooks went on to say if the Terps indicated an offer of some sort were presented he'd consider officially visiting College Park, Md., Jan. 29. He's currently scheduled to see UMass Jan. 22, although he's unsure if it will materialize due to the impending snowstorm.
"I like UMass a good amount, and I have really high interest in Buffalo because their coaches have stood by me the longest," said Brooks, who was last at Buffalo during the summer. "But, really, I'd have interest in any school that wants to take a chance on me. I'm just thankful for any opportunities I'm given."
Brooks said Buffalo and UMass both like him at strong safety, while Maryland's staff hasn't indicated a position.
The DuVal product is coming off a senior campaign where he totaled close to 1,500 all-purpose yards on offense and around 40 tackles on defense.