Four-star linebacker Ellis Brooks talks Hokies and more

Since decommitting from Duke in May, four-star inside linebacker Ellis Brooks has been considering all his options. The Richmond (Va.) Benedictine standout gave Scout the latest.

Four-star linebacker Ellis Brooks decided to decommit from Duke a few months ago.

"I just wanted to make sure I wasn't rushing into anything," said the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Brooks. "I wanted to make sure I had a chance to go look at other schools. I'm not ready to name any favorites yet, though, because I'm taking my time with the process.

"But I'm still contact with Duke and still considering them. I love everything about Duke -- the coaches, players and environment. I've been talking with (running backs) coach (Re'quan) Boyette, who's my recruiter. I'm not sure if I'll visit this summer, but I might take an official visit. If I don't take an official, I'll definitely take an unofficial during the season."

So far this summer, Brooks has visited MichiganMichigan StateOhio State, and most recently Maryland and  North Carolina.

"I liked Maryland a lot," he said. "It was my first time getting to meet the entire staff. I knew (defensive line) coach (Mike) London from when he was at Virginia, but meeting coach (D.J.) Durkin, (linebackers) coach (Matt) Barnes and everyone else was a good experience. They told me that if we could get everyone from the DMV to stay home, we could really be a powerhouse, and that's something I truly believe.

"Coach Barnes is recruiting me. He has a lot of energy and thinks very highly of me. He also has high goals and is a good coach. While I was there, they were having a camp. So, I got to see him, as well as all the other coaches coach. That was probably my favorite part."

His next stop was North Carolina for Fedora's Freak Show.

"It was a fun environment and a lot of great athletes were there," Brooks said. "It's was just a lot of fun and I learned some things. I also really liked playing dodge ball. They made me feel like a priority while I was on campus.

"(Defensive coordinator) coach (Gene) Chizik brought me and my family in his office and talked to us for a while. We basically talked about schemes and what he's looking for in a linebacker and how I'd fit in very well. I also had a chance to sit down with coach (Larry) Fedora, which you don't usually get to do at a whole lot of places. They made sure I was able to talk to everyone and that meant a lot."

One school close to home that's stayed in touch is Virginia Tech.

"I've been talking with (defensive coordinator) coach (Bud) Foster and I love him," Brooks said. "That's my guy and we've had a great relationship since my sophomore year.

"He's told me that he understands that I'm going around and looking at a lot of different schools and that he wants me to see everything, but that Virginia Tech is home. I'm probably going to visit before the end of the summer. I just want to see the changes since coach (Frank) Beamer left and what the atmosphere is like."

Next, he'll head to Auburn on July 14, Georgia on July 16 and South Carolina on July 18. Then in August, he'll head to VirginiaVirginia TechNC State and possibly Florida State.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the environments at the schools," Brooks said. "I also want to see the personalities of the people on each staff and how they coach."

According to Brooks, he hopes to narrow his list to five by the end of the summer. He does not have a definitive time frame for his decision.

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