USC coach Will Muschamp may have another offensive weapon at his disposal this season. Friday night Muschamp offered WR Jalen Brooks (6-3 190) of Harrisburg, NC where he played for Jason Seidel, now the head coach at Blythewood. Brooks played the last two seasons at Wingate. He transferred to Tarleton State in Texas but family issues led him into the NCAA Transfer Portal this summer. Duke and North Carolina A&T are two other schools he’s considering, but he plans to announce a commitment Saturday morning.
“My phone has been blowing up, especially after posting that offer,” Brooks said. “It was always between South Carolina, Duke and North Carolina A&T. Coach Seidel was going to see what was the best bet for me, and that’s just led to leaning more toward the South Carolina side.”
Last season Brooks caught 35 passes for 751 yards and 6 touchdowns. He had 15 catches for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns as a freshman in 2018. But Brooks and his coach always felt he had more talent than a D-2 level player, so he made the decision to head west to Tarleton.
“I was in such a great situation,” Brooks said. “I was the number one receiver, I was a starter and I was on a full ride. This Covid hit and then my family needed me back at home. I need to be here for my brother. I was 16 hours away and so it wasn’t like I could drive right home and be here in a snap. Back in North or South Carolina, I’m here. I’m around the area to be there for my family to fulfill their needs.”
And if Brooks end up with the Gamecocks, Muschamp will owe Seidel a debt of gratitude.
“Coach Seidel has always been in my corner,” Brooks said. “He has always pushed me out to a whole bunch of coaches. He has always bragged about me and the player that I am, and the work ethic that I have. He reached out to South Carolina, and I’m happy they took the chance to watch my film and evaluate it. They just loved it. They got back to Seidel and Seidel hit me up about it.”
Brooks said he first talked with Gamecocks receivers coach Joe Cox about two and a half weeks ago. Friday he had his first conversation with Muschamp, and it was a good one because that’s when he got his offer.
“I haven’t talked to him a whole lot, but he’s been part of the conversations, but this was like my first time talking to him directly,” Brooks said. “But he’s been part of all the conversations.”
Wherever he lands, Brooks is hoping to be eligible to play this season. He has filed an appeal to the NCAA for a waiver.