Film Evaluation: Keelon Brookins

Scouting report of the Gophers' first commitment for the 2013 class, St. Paul (Minn.) Tartan athlete Keelon Brookins.

Profile: Keelon Brookins
School: Tartan
Class: 2013
Position: ATH
HT: 5-foot-11
WT: 170 pounds

Recruiting Notes: Committed to Minnesota

The newest commit to Minnesota is a speedster with big play ability. Keelon has been clocked in the 40-yard dash as low as 4.36 seconds, and it shows on the field when he easily outruns other players. He has a great first step and accelerates to full speed very quickly, which makes him dangerous against opponents as a special teams player.

Not only is he able to return kicks, but his quickness allows him to come off the edge to block kicks and punts, which he did in the playoff game against Stillwater this past season. Unfortunately, due to a knee injury, that was the only game he played in his junior year.

Brookins is being recruited as an athlete, but has played several positions in his career on both sides of the ball. On offense he primarily plays wide receiver, using his speed and his ability to explode off the line of scrimmage to easily rip past defenders and create separation.

He runs good routes and does a nice job of tracking the ball in the air, but struggles at times catching the ball, especially on slants or short crossing routes. He seems most comfortable running deep routes and competing for jump balls. He is at his best when facing back toward the quarterback, which is why he is probably best suited to play on the other side of the ball as a defensive back.

Which defensive back position Brookins will play depends largely on the type of coverage Minnesota prefers to use most. He is not very physical and struggles at times as a tackler, so he would not be an ideal fit as a cover 2 corner or as a strong safety on a defense that likes to play a lot of traditional cover 3 (with the SS covering the flats) or cover 4 with the safeties playing close to the line of scrimmage.

With his speed and ball skills he is probably best suited to play corner in a man scheme or as a free safety. He has great instincts and shows a knack for being able to go up and get the ball. His height is not ideal for a free safety, but what he lacks in height he makes up for with his athleticism—plus he is still young and could potentially grow a few more inches.

Regardless of which position Keelon ends up playing, he should definitely contribute early on as a special teams player and will make another great addition to the Gopher football team. He is competitive, makes big plays, performs well under pressure, and works hard in the classroom too.

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