Brookins Spurns the Gophers

After picking up an offer from Wisconsin due to his performance at its high school summer camp, Tartan (MN) High senior cornerback Keelon Brookins needed less than a month to decide he was a better fit with the Badgers than the Golden Gophers.

MADISON - After shoring up positions on the offensive and defensive line throughout the early parts of the 2013 recruiting class, the Badgers finally got a commitment from a top-level defensive back.

After showing the Wisconsin coaching staff he was firmly recovered from his knee injury with an impressive showing in the Badgers' second high school summer camp in June, Tartan (MN) High senior cornerback Keelon Brookins de-committed from Minnesota and became the 12th commitment to Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class Wednesday.

The 5-11, 185-pound three-star Brookins, rated the No.79 cornerback in the country by Scout.com, showed off his agility and versatility in front of defensive coordinator Chris Ash and secondary coach Ben Strickland, working at both cornerback and safety during camp.

"The coaches said they would love to have me join their program because of my athleticism," Brookins told our site previously. "I like their program, the winning tradition, the coaching and that they prepare guys for the next level."

Brookins, who caught 13 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns and had five interceptions as a cornerback his sophomore year, ending his recruitment in February before schools like Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Wisconsin could evaluate and extend an offer.

Written statement from Brookins:

"I don't think people realize this but I have been visiting Wisconsin since last September. Not a secret, just no one has asked. I have been there several times including junior day. Each time I was there I liked it. The coach that was originally recruiting me Bob Bostad left but Wisconsin always maintained contact with me as they went through the staffing changes. During that whole situation, the Minnesota offer came. I was honored that Minnesota offered because I had not heard from them until that point. At the time it was the right decision for me. I didn't have a reason to decline their offer.

"In May Coach Strickland came here and saw me in action during some practices at school. Then someone from Wisconsin saw my performance at the Nike Training Camp in Champaign and shortly after that one Thursday they contacted my coach and asked me to come to a one day camp the following Monday so Coach B. could see me in person. I discussed it with my parents and told them I wanted to see how I would do since I couldn't go last year. It was a last minute decision because I had no plans to do camps at any school this summer. We drove down and I did well and earned an offer. Was I surprised, somewhat but, like I said they have always maintained contact with me and each time I have visited I liked it more and more. On my last visit I went down to check out the school itself with my parents because my mom had never really been down except for junior day. While there this time it felt really good. I visited the College of Education, met with people in student support services, toured the city, and met in detail with Coach B. and his staff. At that point I realized that I had never really considered leaving home to go to school due to the offer from Minnesota. My parents said it would be wise for me to seriously consider all of the offers that I had.

"After my visit my parents and I discussed for days and hours and looked at both programs in detail. They visited Minnesota again and we discussed some more. We left it alone for a while and then came back and discussed some more. I concluded that the opportunity to leave home for school was an experience that I wanted and the Wisconsin offer gives me that.

"I still believe that there is no place like home but, there's also nothing like being given additional opportunities that are worth pursuing. I've always said there's no place like home however, that I was going to keep my options open. It made sense to take time and look at both of my options and then make an informed decision. That's what I did. Don't get me wrong, I love (Minnesota) and Coach Kill and Coach Jay are great. They are doing some great things with their program but, I have decided to earn my degree and play college football at the University of Wisconsin Madison."


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