EVERY YEAR PROSPECTS suddenly emerge at the tail end of the recruiting process. One this year was Los Angeles area defensive end Preston Brooks out of Dorsey High, the same school that produced a January surprise for the Cougar Nation last season in the form of Courtney Williams, a close friend of Brooks. The 6-2 ½, 235-pounder who held six offers tripped to WSU this weekend, knew Washington State was the place for him.

Brooks gave the thumbs up to Cougar coaches Kelly Skipper and Robb Akey this weekend.

"Coach Skipper was very happy," said Brooks. "They had been trying for (awhile) to get me...Coach Akey was surprised, I think he knew I was going to commit but I don't think he knew I was going to commit this early."

Skipper over the course of the recruitment made a decided impression on Brooks' mother, who was all in favor of her son heading up to the Palouse to get a great education and play big time college football.

"I enjoyed myself out there -- it was much more than I expected," said Brooks. "The team was more like a family. I can get accustomed to that. And with the team, they put a lot of emphasis on academics."

Brooks, who said he really clicked with Mike Graise, Scott Davis and player host Eric Frampton, has cancelled his remaining visits and said he's solid in his commitment.

"I'm excited to get up there and start playing," said Brooks.

THE BOOK ON the agile defensive end is that he's overpowering with a great burst, equally adept at rushing the quarterback, stacking up the run and closing off the corner. He runs a 40 yard dash in the 4.6 to 4.7 range, and held offers this recruiting season from Arizona, Fresno State, Boise State, Nevada and Utah State.

Brooks played at Verbum Dei as a junior but strapped it up for Dorsey his senior season following a family move. In 2005, Brooks dominated up front with 11 pass deflections and 71 tackles, 24 of them TFL including nine sacks.

Brooks is also a standout in the classroom, and has achieved a qualifying score on the SAT.

Preston Brooks profile

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