Ladies and gentlemen, Ellis Brooks!
Hometown/High School: Richmond, VA (Benedictine)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 233 pounds
Recruited By: Brent Pry
Starz ‘n Sheetz
Rankings: 4-star on Rivals, Scout, and ESPN; 3-star on 247
Offers: Maryland, LSU, Oregon, Northwestern, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Ole Miss, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
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Brooks has been on Penn State’s radar for some time now, visiting Happy Valley in July 2015. The Virginia product didn’t land an offer from the Nittany Lions, and went onto to commit to Duke in March 2016. His commitment to the Blue Devils didn’t last for long, as Brooks decommitted from Duke just two months later. Following his senior season and standout performance at the Under Armour All-American game, Brooks saw his offer list grow, landing offers from Northwestern, Oregon, and LSU.
Despite not having an offer from the Nittany Lions, the Penn State staff kept in contact with Brooks throughout his recruitment. And when Dylan Rivers flipped to Virginia Tech, James Franklin and company were quick to offer Brooks. The linebacker scheduled his final official visit to Happy Valley, and following the weekend, made the call for the Nittany Lions.
Brooks is a physical, tough linebacker. Naturally strong kid that does his best work inside the hash marks. Better athlete than originally given credit for, but he’s never going to be a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. Put him at the Mike, let him stuff the run game, and let him attack.
While he isn’t the lock to play right away like Rivers was, it’s hard to see a scenario where Brooks is able to redshirt. The fact of the matter is, he’s physically ready to play, and unfortunately, Penn State can’t afford luxury redshirts at linebacker yet.
Brooks longterm spot will be in the middle down the line — similar to Jason Cabinda — but at least for next season, he could see some time at the Will too on short yardage situations.
Welcome to Penn State, Ellis!