The Texas Longhorns added another talented piece to the #trUTh21 class Friday as Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks announced his commitment Friday via Twitter.
COMMITTED #HookEm pic.twitter.com/kOHE2jqVGO— Jonathon Brooks (@2brookss) May 15, 2020
Running backs coach Stan Drayton and the offensive staff saw something they liked early from the Hallettsville back, with Texas coming in as the first offer for Brooks.
Blessed and honored to receive my first D1 offer from The University Of Texas !!! Hook’em God is Great ! pic.twitter.com/tBGHXCAdpv— Jonathon Brooks (@2brookss) November 10, 2019
The 6’1, 188-pound back has been highly productive for his first two years with the Brahmas, earning back-to-back all-district selections and district MVP honors as a junior. Brooks held offers from just six FBS schools and just two in Power Five conferences, the other from the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
His commitment pushes the Longhorns to 10 in the 2021 class and the fourth offensive player in the class, although its likely a few athletes will play offense as well. Brooks is the second player to commit to Texas in the month of May, joining Jordon Thomas who pulled the trigger earlier in the month.
Texas currently has seven running backs on the roster, but just five of them with scholarships. With 2019’s injury drama at the running back position, adding a talented player like Brooks gives not just depth, but a multi-purpose player in a talented group.
A consensus three-star prospect, Brooks is ranked as the No. 624 player nationally and the No. 47 running back, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
By Daniel Seahorn
Brooks was an interesting and challenging study for me personally and after spending time watching his tape, it makes me very curious to see how coaches at the next level view him long term. Brooks does most of his damage on the offensive side of the ball at running back, but he also lines up at wide receiver, defensive back, and returns kicks. Brooks presents good positional versatility and value by contributing to all three phases, but he also showed off a good set of hands and the ability the track the ball in the air. Whether it is splitting out as a wide receiver or dropping into coverage and intercepting passes, Brooks shows that his hands and ball skills are up to snuff.
On tape Brooks shows good athleticism with solid size (listed at 6’0, 185 pounds) and good burst when he gets north and south with the ball in his hands. While he is a bit of a wild stallion as a runner at this stage in his development, Brooks displays very good elusiveness as a ball carrier and shows the ability to make defenders miss in a phone booth and in the open field. Brooks’ ability to make defenders is easily his best trait in my opinion at this point and I think it will translate to the next level.
On top of his ability to elude defenders, Brooks shows a lot of determination as a runner and does not shy away from contact at the moment of truth. He’s not afraid to try to drop his pads down on a defender and displays a very solid stiff arm. Brooks does run a little high at times, which is a bit of an issue given he is on the tallish side, and his biggest red flag for me is ball security due to his tendency to be very loose with the football as he runs. He also has limited tape of him in pass protection and that is something he will need to become accustomed to if he wants to get his share of the carries.
These are things that can be ironed out with time and coaching, but he still has some nuances of the position that must be addressed. Brooks was a very productive player in 2019 and led his team to a state quarterfinals appearance on the heels of being named the district 14-3A MVP, so he could be in for a big senior season. Brooks possesses traits to be a productive player at the next level, but I do think there will be a learning curve based on where he is at in his development. I think he is likely a redshirt candidate so that he has some time in the incubator before we see him hit the depth chart.