Forward Jeff Brooks Signs Letter Of Intent With Nittany Lion Basketball
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 15, 2006 - Penn State received some great news today on the last day of the early signing period as highly recruited Kentucky high school standout Jeff Brooks (Louisville, Ky.) signed a national letter of intent to play for the Nittany Lions and fourth-year head coach Ed DeChellis.
Brooks, a 6-8, 190-pound forward, made the announcement during an early afternoon press conference at Doss High School where he is preparing to begin his senior season of play. Brooks joins standout New York high school point-guard Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) to complete Penn State's class of 2007-08 signees.
"We are very excited to have Jeff join our basketball family," DeChellis said. "He is a very gifted athlete that brings a high skill level and terrific perimeter shooting touch to our team. He is a complete player. He's a wing who can score, is a very good leaper but also defends and is a shot blocker. Jeff comes from a great family with terrific family values and will be a great fit for our program."
Brooks made a huge jump on the national recruiting scene after a very strong showing on the summer camp and AAU circuit (he played for the Derek Smith All-Stars) and was courted by several high major programs, including in-state programs Louisville and Kentucky. Brooks narrowed his decision between Arkansas and Penn State before opting for the Nittany Lion program. Brooks also was recruited by Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech among others.
"It was just the perfect situation for me," Brooks told PrepStars.com's Evan Daniels. "Next year I'll be taken under the wing of Geary Claxton and he's really good. He'll take me and show me the ropes in the Big Ten. I'll get to experience some good playing time and then sophomore year I should be playing a lot.
"Penn State, I like it because of the family they have down there. Everybody is a family. All they talk about is what the next man's done, instead of talking about themselves. I think I'd fit in great there."
Brooks was named the Camp MVP, All-Star Game MVP, South Division MVP and won the slam dunk championship at the Blue-Chip Camp in Georgetown, Ky. over the summer. He was also named the MVP of the Five Star Camp in Pittsburgh. With strong showing at camps in South Carolina, California and the Super-64 Shootout in Las Vegas he became one of the hottest prospects on the national recruiting scene.
"Jeff just had an unbelievable summer and really exploded on the national recruiting scene," DeChellis said. "He is really just beginning to emerge and blossom as a player and has great potential to be a terrific collegiate player and beyond."
Brooks joined Battle in being named an honorable-mention High School All-American by Street & Smith's going into their senior seasons and was given a three star rating by Scout.com. Described as a very athletic and lanky forward, Brooks averaged 11 points, 8 rebounds and two blocks per game in his junior season at Doss after transferring from Shawnee High School were he played his first two seasons. Brooks helped lead Doss to a 23-7 mark and the regional semifinals of the state playoffs before falling on a last second tip in last season. Brooks has been tabbed as the No. 2 player in Kentucky and No. 1 player in his region going into his final season and Doss was picked as the No. 6 team in the state in the preseason.
"Jeff has great character, is very respectful and is just a great kid," Doss head coach Shawn Purlee said. "He's a great kid to coach because he has such great potential and brings so many dynamics to the floor. He can play the low post or out on the floor. He can go in and get a rebound and then put it on the floor and be the point-guard bringing it up the floor for us. He provides a lot of options."
Brooks, who will turn 18 next July, plays taller than he is thanks in part to a 6-11 3/4 wing span. He developed his perimeter skills as a 6-4 guard before growing into a larger wing following his sophomore season.