As a city, Miami is known for its gorgeous beaches and electric nightlife scene. People visit from all across the country for these experiences, which are unique given the latin american influences.
For college football fans, Miami is also known for its unparalleled production of high end wide receiver prospects. Every year, several of the top players at the position hail from a plethora of high schools that range across the city. Alabama in particular has built a pipeline from the Miami area to its receiver room, including the likes of Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, and Jerry Jeudy, amongst others.
Bama dipped back into a familiar place this year to snag 5 star receiver Jacorey Brooks. Standing at 6’3 185, Brooks is a departure from recent Alabama receivers who have been smaller and shiftier. But make no mistake about it, Brooks is a fantastic athlete in his own right and should be a top priority for any c2c or deep devy fantasy managers this offseason.
Brooks spent the first 3 years of his high school career at Booker T. Washington High School before making the move to the famed IMG Academy for his senior season. His final year at Booker T. he finished with 99 catches for 1,251 yards and 18 touchdowns. At IMG, Brooks linked up with Michigan commit JJ McCarthy to form a deadly duo in a weird, shortened season.
His successes in high school attracted attention from all of the top schools, earning him offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Texas A&M, along with offers from many lower tiered schools. Initially thought to be a Miami commit, Brooks declared his allegiance to Alabama and headlines the best recruiting class in the modern recruiting era.
Size Adjusted Athleticism
The thing that is immediately apparent when watching Brooks is how fluid of an athlete he is for his listed size. Not only does he look bigger and more physical than the other players on the field, but he moves like it too. Sometimes, when watching athletic players in high school you get concerned with their ability to translate that to the next level. I do not have that worry with Brooks. I mean, the kid was a dominant punt returner in high school. He likely won’t be asked to do that at Alabama with JoJo Earle and Christian Leary arriving with him, but his skill in that area is impressive nonetheless.
He has a verified 40 that is not particularly fast, but his track times suggest that Brooks has good long speed. His tape seems to confirm. Brooks wins deep consistently.
Red Zone Threat
For young players at Alabama, snaps can be difficult to come by. Most freshman contributors in the Saban era have been specialists of sorts, like nickel corners or kick/punt returners. Brooks’ route may be a red zone threat. With his size, athletic ability, and body control, he should be dangerous in this area of the field
“But Austin”, you say, “that can’t be a personal strength!” Maybe not, but Alabama is in an unusually vulnerable position. With the departure of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith over the past two seasons, there is not much returning production. More so, there are no proven receivers with his physical profile on the team. Brooks will compete with Agiye Hall for early touches, but I also think they can co-exist beyond 2021.
WHAT FORMATS AM I BUYING IN?
Hearing about the pros and cons of a player is nice, but most of the top guys in a recruiting class are good athletes that have tons of good offers and potential through the roof. So the big question becomes, in which formats should I be targeting this player? And where should I draft him?
As a five star receiver, Brooks is well known. As a five star receiver at Alabama, the hype will be off the charts. Depending on the depth of your devy league, I could see Brooks on devy squads entering 2021. Devy Verdict: In leagues with any depth, Brooks is worth a pick.
Similarly, Brooks will be a hot commodity in freshman drafts. Managers know about his physical gifts, the vacated production, and the Alabama wide receiver pipeline. C2C Verdict: Brooks is a likely first round pick. If you want him, prepare to draft him early.
Alabama has not had a wide receiver like Jacorey Brooks during the school’s recent offensive juggernaut phase, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. Although not a sure thing due to the strength of the recruiting class, Brooks has as good a chance as anyone to hear his name called early in the 2024 NFL Draft.