Jaymes Brooks , a top offensive line recruit who is rated the #11 prospect in the state by Techsideline.com, verbally committed to Virginia Tech this afternoon during a press conference at his school. The Denbigh (Newport News, VA) star, who kept Tech’s amazing run of commitments going, also had offers from Florida and Tennessee, among others.
“The college I decided to attend is Virginia Tech,” Brooks told the assembled media.
At 6-2, 296 pounds, Brooks is an excellent athlete who was timed in the 4.9-second range in the 40-yard dash during the Newport News combine this spring. He plays offensive tackle for Denbigh but projects as an offensive guard or even potential center for Tech.
Brooks’ final list came down to two schools, Florida and VT, and distance made it easier for Brooks to choose the Hokies over the Gators. “[Playing at Virginia Tech] means my mother and my grandmother can come see me play,” Brooks said.
Brooks has been a Hokie fan for a long time, and committing to his childhood favorite was important. “It means a lot. Growing up, watching [Michael] Vick do his thing — I got his autograph once, and after that moment, I always wanted to be a Hokie.”
Jim Cavanaugh is Brooks’ primary recruiting coach, but OL coach Curt Newsome, who will be his position coach at VT and who is playing a large role in Hokie recruiting this year, was perhaps a bigger factor. “Coach Newsome and I are real close. I’ve known Coach Newsome since back in the 8th grade. He offered me a scholarship then,” Brooks said, drawing laughter from the press conference attendees. “He’s a good person, he has good values, and he’s fun to be around.”
Brooks has maintained all along that even if he committed early, he was going to take all five of his official visits. Those are still his plans. Brooks had four hats on the table during his press conference: Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida, and Tennessee. Brooks said he will visit all four of those schools, and the fifth visit will be to UNC or South Carolina.
Brooks is the 17th player – the 15th this month – to commit to Virginia Tech. He is the fourth prospect projected to play offensive line.
Note: Chris Horne contributed to this report.
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