Minnesota got a steal in running back Shannon Brooks in the 2015 recruiting cycle and that's already been on display so far in fall camp as the Pickens (Ga.) playmaker has been making waves. Minnesota's looks like it will pay immediate dividends for the Gophers as Brooks has made a quick transition to the college game and was named by head coach Jerry Kill this week as a true freshman who figures to get playing time.
“He’s pretty tough isn’t he?” Kill said following the Gophers scrimmage Saturday. “He runs pretty hard. I’ve got to go watch the film to see if he’ll block anybody or not, but he’s hard to tackle. And we figured that when we recruited him. You don’t rush for all those yards he did and not be a good back.”
Brooks (6-foot-0, 206 pounds) was rated as a three-star running back by Scout and wasn't recruited as much as he probably should have been for a guy who rushed for 2,223 yards last year and was named Georgia’s 4A Offensive Player of the Year. It's not like Georgia isn't recruited hard, so the Gophers definitely got a good one in Shannon Brooks. While he's the fourth running back on the depth chart right now behind Rodrick Williams, Rodney Smith and Berkley Edwards, that could change as the season wears on and injuries manifest themselves.
Kill said RB Shannon Brooks "is going to be a guy that's going to play for us as a freshman." on the Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave on Sunday.
Brooks had 16 carries for 91 yards on Saturday including a 35-yard dash. Minnesota offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover had Brooks get a bulk of the carries with the second and third team knowing what he's already got in Williams, Smith and Edwards ahead of him. Brooks runs extremely tough and excels when contact comes his way. It'll be interesting to see what his use is during the season as a true freshman.