Brooks in no Hurry

It all started with a standout performance at a local tournament for Jeff Brooks. A few weeks and several more AAU events later, Brooks has emerged as a hot commodity entering the heart of basketball's recruiting period.

"It's been surprising and overwhelming," Jeff Brooks told Pack Pride. "It's all happened so quickly. First I went to the Blue Chip camp in Kentucky and I dominated there, and then I went to the Five-Star Camp and won the MVP up there. Then I went to Myrtle Beach, Vegas and Los Angeles and just kind of blew up. Ever since then the recruiting has been crazy."

Brooks needed that kind of effort on the summer circuit because his junior season didn't attract the high-major programs. After averaging just 11 points and 10 rebounds as a junior, programs such as Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky were looking to lock him up early. However that didn't happen and now he is a legitimate high-major recruit.

With a list of programs under consideration, Brooks is still open to everyone.

"There are ten teams right now," he said. "North Carolina State, Georgia, Clemson, Louisville, Kentucky, Penn State, Arkansas, New Mexico State, Marshall, and Western Kentucky.

"All of them have offered me except for Louisville and Kentucky. Louisville said if I called them and said I wanted to play there that I'd have a scholarship, but I'd have to do something soon with them, and I plan on signing late anyways."

NC State and Penn State evaluated Brooks on Monday, and Louisville, Arkansas, New Mexico State and Xavier watched the rising prospect Thursday afternoon.

Currently he has one official scheduled for this weekend and because he is planning on inking next spring, he figures the majority of his visits will occur during his basketball season.

"I'm heading to Penn State tomorrow, and the next one I take is going to be during the season," Brooks said. "Well, I might take one more before the season starts, and the other three could be after the season has started.

"I don't want to sign early in the fall, so that's why I'll take some visits later."

Two schools have his attention early on, and both have their positives.

"My top two would have to be North Carolina State and New Mexico State," said Brooks. "New Mexico State, I like [head] coach [Reggie] Theus. He was really talking about how he can enhance my game for the next level because he's been there and knows what it takes. I was really impressed with what he had to say.

"With North Carolina State, they play in the ACC, and it doesn't get any better than that. That has always been my favorite conference because that is where the best competition is at. It's a great program too. The head assistant coach came to watch me this week, and they are going to come for an in-home visit next week. The head coach is coming this time, and I'm looking forward to meeting him. I'm kind of curious."

Brooks is going to go through the entire process. Expect him to take all five official visits and get to really know the coaching staffs prior to reaching a decision.

"I'm just looking for good coaching but also a good program," he said. "I want to go somewhere that I can fit in and develop my game.

"I'm not really concerned about playing time my freshman year. You've got to crawl before you walk."

At 6-foot-8 and 195 pounds, Brooks stated that some programs are recruiting him as a shooting guard/small forward while others are pursuing him as a combo forward.

He is already fully qualified with a solid core GPA and ACT score.

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