Come December, one college football program could receive an early Christmas present from one of the most explosive and highly recruited athletes on the Newbury Park (Calif.) roster, in offensive athlete Chris Brooks: A verbal commitment from the Class of 2017 running back and wide receiver.
“It’ll definitely be in two months, maybe around Christmas,” Brooks said, smiling, when asked about when he’ll make his college choice.
On a talented Panthers team with two college football commits in cornerback Marques Evans (Boise State) and 2018 quarterback Cameron Rising (Oklahoma), the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Brooks is the lone Newbury Park player who has yet to make his selection from his 10 scholarship offers; most of those offers hailing from the Mountain West Conference.
Regarding the former, Brooks cites communication as the chief reason why the Aztecs are high on his list.
“I talk with the coaches every week. They love me and they show me love. I love that. They talk about how they want to use me on offense. I love that,” Brooks said.
The Aztecs and Ventura County have crossed paths before. Former Ventura County stars Alfonso Solis of Oxnard (Calif.) Channel Islands, brothers Kendrick and Dru Mathis of Ventura (Calif.) Buena and former Panthers star quarterback Daniel Prieto are on the current SDSU roster.
As for the latter of the schools, Brooks also cited the communication aspect as to why he’s intrigued by the Rams.
“It’s the same thing. They love my versatility and they told me I could start early and make an impact,” Brooks said. “I talk to the coaches all the time and they tell me I can be a versatile athlete for the team.”
He’s the Panthers' top option when they need a crucial long rushing gain or a breakaway threat on the receiving end. At receiver, Brooks can fool defenders with a head fake then accelerate past the man coverage for the lengthy touchdown score. He adds a dangerous special teams element to his game as well, as Brooks is a threat to take kickoffs for the 90+ yard touchdown.
But even with his dynamic big plays, Brooks said he still believes he has things to work on, saying “I’m working on being more explosive and being a more versatile athlete, plus make more plays.”
There’s the added possibility that offer No. 11 could come from a Power Five juggernaut: No. 17 Utah.
“I’m working on Utah right now, so that might be coming soon,” Brooks said. “They want me playing wide receiver and be this all-around playmaker who makes plays and work with the offense.”
One more thing that could be imminent for Brooks as he closes in on making a college decision? He could be conference rivals with his Panther teammate Evans.
Said Brooks: “Yes sir. I thought about that and think about that all the time. I can’t wait to play against my boy at the next level. It’s going to be fun. I can’t wait.”