Bessemer City (Ala.) inside linebacker Jamal Brooks enjoyed his trip to Missouri this summer for the Tigers’ Night At The Zou camp/recruiting event. His trip back to campus last weekend might have gone even better.
“I enjoyed my trip to the fullest,” Brooks told BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com. “It was really everything I expected and more. I couldn’t have asked for a better time. I’m ready for my official.”
When will that be?
“Right now I’m still debating between Dec. 2 with some of the other commits or Jan. 20 right before Signing Day,” Brooks said.
A 6-foot-1, 233-pounder, Brooks was among the Tigers commitments — along with offensive linemen Case Cook and Pompey Coleman — who traveled to Mizzou for unofficial visits to check out the team’s game against visiting Vanderbilt, a 26-17 victory.
The atmosphere and the Tigers’ enthusiasm after the win stuck with Brooks and were among the highlights of his weekend trip.
“Just being around the team, really,” he said. “Seeing the love that the players have for the coaching staff and the coaching staff’s love for the players. That’s really the main thing that stood out.”
After watching some of his soon-to-be teammates on the field, Brooks also got an up-close view of Missouri head coach Barry Odom’s emotional post-win speech in the locker room.
“That moment, after the game,” Brooks said. “The students in the student section singing the alma mater then going into the locker room after the game with the players and the players accepting me. Some of them already knew who I was. The love that everybody had for each other, the enthusiasm that was in the locker room, that was great.”
Like most of Missouri’s commitments who committed in the spring or summer, Brooks has watched the Tigers struggle this season, in part due to injuries. But after Missouri picked up its first Southeastern Conference win of the year against Vanderbilt, the linebacker saw how the team responded.
“Seeing that everybody still has hope and that everybody is on the same page is great to see,” Brooks said.
Brooks is one of two linebackers already committed to the Tigers, along with Aubrey Miller from Memphis, and it’s possible they could bring in a third — one possibility is J.J. Russell from Mississippi.
What are the Tigers expecting from Brooks next season?
“What you want from every linebacker is really the same thing, no matter what school, every school wants a linebacker that is going to come in and be a presence for the defense, someone that can run the defense for the coach, be a leader on and off the field, really the quarterback of the defense,” Brooks said. “Things haven’t changed with what they want. They want me to come in be somebody they can put all their trust into and play and see me lead the defense.”
The talented Alabama prospect could get increased attention from schools following another outstanding season at Bessemer City High School, but he said he’s not interested in other schools.
“At this point I’m not really looking into schools,” Brooks said. “A couple schools have come by my school and have talked to me or whatever. But I’m 100 percent committed to Missouri.”
Want more BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com coverage? Become a member today to get insider information, members-only forums, exclusive videos, team shop offers and ticket discounts. Click HERE to learn more and get a 7-day free trial.