For his offensive linemen, that is.
“I believe in them, I think they’re going D-I. Yeah, they’re that good,” he said before rattling off a handful of jersey number of Tiger pocket protectors such as Jesse Manful, Ayodeji Agbelese, Devin Rivers, and the injured D’Angelo Lashley.
Trusting in those linemen, he says, facilitated his early-season success — success that sparked DuVal to a 2-0 start that includes a win over defending state champion No.11 Wise.
So far, the dual-threat Brooks seems the final piece in the DuVal offensive puzzle that hardly seemed to be missing one in the first place, scoring 25 points or more in six of its 10 games in 2012 on its way to a 9-2 record.
He’s thrown for 280 yards and three touchdowns while completing 14 of 24 passes, and has yet to be picked off. Brooks has also infuriated defenses with uncommon speed and elusive agility, rushing for another 257 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s just one of those special guys that can play football and has a high football IQ,” DuVal Coach Dameon Powell said. “And he’s respectful. You can’t really pick too many things wrong about this guy. He’s just a phenomenal athlete.”
So phenomenal, in fact, that while Powell expressed no doubt his young field commander would play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, he sees a position switch coming when he does.
“I won’t say not [going to play quarterback in college], I’m just saying I don’t believe that’s going to be his position there. I think he’ll be more athlete, something on defense and cornerback,” Powell said. “But it depends, everyone’s going to spread offense, pistol — that’s his thing.”
Brooks, who said he only plays defensive back these days “on special occasions,” said he doesn’t mind when his coaches talk about a potential position switch. But he admits recruiting highlight tapes are the main reason he likes playing quarterback so much.
Highlight tapes for his offensive teammates, that is.
“I like quarterback because I want my teammates to make it to college,” he said. “They need to get that highlight tape, and I help them keep in the process.”
“Jamal helps me a lot,” said Brooks of his senior receiver, with whom he connected on a 22-yard pass for the eventual winning touchdown in the Tigers’ 14-13 win over Wise last week. “He tells me every practice, I’m going to go catch this, I’m going to go catch that. He promises me, he’s great.”
Woodland will eschew his offensive duties to play cornerback for the Rockets next season, a lead Powell expects Brooks to follow when college coaches swoop in on his uncommonly talented quarterback — which he believes they will, and in hordes.
“This is the first time they’ll be watching him this year, so they’ll be coming,” Powell said. “I’m telling you, after this year, he’s going to have plenty [of coaches calling]. He’s that good. He’s going to be a great one.”
Number Crunch: 17
The number of years since DuVal’s Prince George’s 4A counterpart High Point started a season 2-0. The Eagles, who beat Central 36-14 in their opener before downing Laurel 18-12 last week, will put their perfect start on the line against Eleanor Roosevelt (0-2) Friday.
— Could No. 3 Gonzaga knock off top-ranked DeMatha in a showdown of WCAC soccer heavyweights?
— In case you missed it: Friendship Collegiate under fire over questions of player eligibility.
— More on DuVal’s fast start and the rest of the Prince George’s 4A football scene
Photos of the Day
Check out this gallery from No. 1 DeMatha vs. No. 3 Gonzaga last night: