Florida State’s elite 2017 recruiting class contains a pair of FSU legacies. The first of these two, Stanford Samuels III, is already on campus as an early enrollee. The second, DeCalon Brooks, will arrive over the summer and has the significantly larger footsteps of the two to follow in.
Brooks’ father, Derrick, leaves behind an illustrious legacy in Tallahassee. Brooks, a member of both the College Football and NFL Hall of Fames, is one of just five defensive players to have his number retired by Florida State.
Brooks, hailing from Tampa (Fla.) Gaither and currently 5’11, 197 pounds, is a consensus three-star recruit at inside linebacker, the same position his father played. He is the No. 1,160 overall player, No. 52 inside linebacker, and No. 161 player from Florida in the 2017 recruiting class according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
He may have also held offers from Louisville, USF, Iowa State, Illinois, Rutgers, Middle Tennessee State, and FIU, but Brooks, who got his FSU offer in January of 2016, always seemed destined to sign with the Seminoles. Brooks committed shortly after he camped at last July’s Jimbo Fisher Camp and visited nowhere else but Florida State. He took an unofficial visit to last year’s spring game in April and the Florida game in November before using his official visit to Tallahassee the weekend of January 13th.
Brooks finished each of his three seasons on the varsity squad at Gaither with more than 100 total tackles and more than 10 tackles for loss. His senior season last fall saw him set new career highs with 14 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Brooks, one of two committed inside linebackers in Florida State’s 2017 class ahead of National Signing Day, is likely not a player pegged for early playing time, if for no other reason than the fact that he is undersized. That being said, it’s hard to bet against a player with his pedigree contributing in some fashion down the line.
Included below is our scouting report on Brooks, from a high school coach on our staff.
Brooks is an intriguing prospect. Listed as an inside linebacker, Brooks seemingly has the versatility to play linebacker, defensive back or in a specialty role on passing downs depending on his development and how the coaches decide to use him.
The first thing that jumps off the film is Brooks’ playing demeanor and hustle. He plays extremely hard, gets to the ball quickly and finishes with authority. Brooks is also an intelligent football player. He understands how to read and react off the blocks of offensive linemen, as well as how to maintain proper leverage on blocks on the edge or out in space. His high school team lined him up on the line of scrimmage and off the ball as a linebacker, further showcasing his versatility.
Brooks might best project as a player similar to Nate Andrews in the Money role. There, he’d be asked to play close to the ball and support the run while dropping in coverage on tight ends or running backs. He could also come blitzing off the edge and get after the passer.