Four-star linebacker Ellis Brooks plans to commit to a college that is as successful off the football field as it is on it.
That’s why he was so excited to receive a scholarship offer from Notre Dame on Thursday.
“It’s a great opportunity to go play football at a good academic school,” said Brooks, a 6-foot-2, 240-pounder from Benedictine College Prep in Richmond, Va. “Everybody knows it’s a great football school, so I’m really excited. I’ve had interest in it before. You always hear a bunch of stories about Notre Dame and how good of a school it is and plus I’ve seen them on TV playing ever since I was a kid.”
Brooks maintained regular contact with Irish assistant coach Scott Booker before receiving the offer. He called Booker on Thursday and also spoke with several other Notre Dame coaches.
“I was in frequent contact with them for a little while,” Brooks said. “He was saying that they liked me and they just want to make sure they take their time in the recruiting process and go through everything they possibly can. They know their process might be a little bit longer than everybody else’s but they want to make sure they do it the right way.”
Indiana and Virginia also offered on Thursday, pushing Brooks’ total to 15 scholarship offers.
Duke was the first and Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and several others followed suit.
He hopes to see several of those schools during a spring break road trip at the end of March.
“I’m hopefully trying to come down during my spring break,” he said. “I’m going on a trip to a bunch of colleges during spring break and I know Notre Dame is one of them. I want to go to Michigan and Northwestern and Ohio State possibly on that trip.”
During those trips, Brooks hopes to learn more about how each school helps its student-athletes balance their football and academic workloads.
“That’s very important,” he said. “I want to get a good education and make a 40 year decision, not a four year one. Education is a big part. Football doesn’t last forever so you need a degree to fall back on.”
As a junior, Brooks recorded 117 tackles, including 12 for a loss, and seven sacks. He also forced four fumbles and recovered three others.
“I’m very physical and a hard hitter,” he said. “I have a high motor. I’m non-stop throughout the game. I play with intensity the whole time.”
Brooks’ father played linebacker at Winston-Salem and his high school coach played at Richmond. The two have provided him with valuable insight into the recruiting process and what it’s like to play football in college.