North's Brooks headed to Maryland

North Gwinnett's Jalen Brooks committed to Maryland on his first stop of a college campus tour two weeks ago.

Maryland head coach Randy Edsall wanted Brooks to think about the commitment and the linebacker stuck with decision. Brooks called Edsall on Monday to confirm his choice of the ACC school.

"I really like the campus. It felt like North Gwinnett and I liked the facilities," Brooks said. "The position they want me at is the same at North Gwinnett. I felt comfortable with the defense and the school."

As an outside linebacker last year, Brooks made 49 tackles for the Bulldogs. North is 33-4 the last three years, including 10-2 and a trip to the second round of the playoffs last season. Maryland was 2-10 in Edsall's first year as head coach.

"I just felt a good vibe (about the school)," Brooks said. "I know it's a rebuilding program, but I want to be a part of that."

Brooks chose Maryland over offers from Air Force, Navy, Wofford and Ball State. He also had interest from Mississippi State, Wake Forest, Kentucky, N.C. State, Yale and Harvard.

"I just liked the campus better," Brooks said. "I want to major in business and they have a good business program."

Brooks maintains 3.6 GPA and scored 1,850 on SAT.

After visiting Maryland, Brooks took trips to Princeton, Yale and Harvard.

"All the Ivy League schools wanted me and you have to apply for early admission to go there," Brooks said.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Brooks holds school records in his weight class for bench (280 pounds), squat (445) and power clean (295). He also runs a 4.65-second 40-yard dash.

He also placed fourth at the Class AAAAA traditional state wrestling tournament in the 195-pound weight class.

Brooks is the 14th Gwinnett County football player to make a college commitment this summer. He joins teammate Donnie Miles, who committed to North Carolina.

"I think it will be fun to be rivals in college," Brooks said.


Gary 2 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations, Jalen, on making an early commitment to play football at the University of Maryland! With that important decision made, you can now concentrate on your schoolwork and on being a senior leader and a defensive standout for our North Gwinnett High School Bulldogs! Enjoy the rest of your summer and be ready for the beginning of football practice followed shortly by the beginning of the school! Have a terrific senior year, Jalen! GO BULLDOGS!


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