Brooks: Oklahoma is OK

Speedster sticks with first school that showed interest

With an Oklahoma t-shirt on, Daniel Brooks shares a laugh with brother Elijah (left) at a Tiger basketball game last week. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan With an Oklahoma t-shirt on, Daniel Brooks shares a laugh with brother Elijah (left) at a Tiger basketball game last week. Reporter/Cliff Dungan While Texas and Oklahoma St. were chomping hard at the bit to throw a last-gasp recruiting rope around Daniel Brooks, he listened to his heart and remained loyal to the school that first showed they cared.

Brooks officialy inked a letter of-intent to play football at the University of Oklahoma next season Wednesday morning in RHS Gymnasium.

When the Sooners first showed interest in Brooks during his junior year, the 5-foot- 9, 175- pounder only had one scholarship offer—from New Mexico.

“ That’s has something to do with it,” he said of the Sooners’ early connection, “ to do it as quickly as they did. And, it’s just a prestigious school with all that they’ve done and accomplished.

“Plus, the way they treated my family, like they had known them forever. They never pressured me, they never downgraded another school.”

After Oklahoma came calling— led by offensive coordinator and former Sooner quarterback Josh Heupel—the avalanche began.

Brooks committed to the Soon- ers on March 10, 2011 and has wavered little since then.

“We like it when students at Rockdale get the experience to go play athletics in college,” said Rockdale Athletic Director Jeff Miller. “He’s worked extremely ha rd his ent ire hig h school career. I’m excited for him and his family.”

While most recruiting services have Brooks listed as a defensive back or “athlete”, he insists that he will be line up at running back at Oklahoma.

“I’m going to play running back,” he says empahtically. “That’s my passion...that’s where I want to play.

“I’ll play on either side of the ball, but I’d prefer to play running back.” has Brooks—who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash—listed as the 35th best recruit in the state as an athete.

Oklahoma has a histor y of producing great running backs, including Adrian Peterson, Greg Pruitt, Billy Sims and Steve Owens.

Owens and Sims captured the Heisman Trophy.

Brooks is excited to be a part of that lineage.

“It’s a great feeling. I always thought about that, about being a possible Heisman candidate. I will have personal goals as well as team goals.”

Brooks found the recruiting process “ f lattering” but also “overwhelming and stressful”, but unlike many recruits, he had a solid family foundation full of athletes that helped guide him along the perilous path.

“ I didn’t understand what stress was and the daily calling and everybody calling,” he explained. “But, knowing I was not on my own and to get their imput and feed back was very helpful.”

From his grandfather to his uncles and father, all oustanding athletes that had been through this process before, he felt blessed to have the support.

“They were there to show me how to make the right choice and keep the stress level down.”

Brooks received offers from just about every major school, including Texas, Oklahoma St., Texas Tech, California, Nebraska, Stanford, UCLA and LSU.

Now that he has moved back home, f rom now on, whenever Daniel Brooks is listed on a roster or his name is called on television, it will mention his hometown of Rockdale.

“I want it to say Rockdale. That was important too me.”


State of the position: It remains unclear what position Brooks will end up playing at Oklahoma, though he has been told he will get his first shot at running back. Regardless, Brooks is a dynamic playmaker who has the explosiveness to be a good return man and would be terrific in the backfield or the slot.

Pros: “Brooks is a diminutive, shifty scatback type with upside as a return specialist. He is short and wiry, but tougher as an in-line runner than you might think. He has a great first step and explosiveness, shows good vision and can make good decisions in the hole.”

Cons: “Overall quickness outweighs his top end speed. The intriguing thing about Brooks is that he doesn’t always show sudden stop/start ability given his size and footwork.”

Similar to/potential role: Roy Finch. A dynamic playmaker who will need the ball in his hands.

Expected impact: 2012. If the Sooners give Brooks the opportunity to return kickoffs and punts, he could have an immediate impact. If not, a redshirt season may be in the cards for Brooks.


Yards rushing (career)—3,670
300-yard games—2 (1st all-time,
only 2 in RHS history)
Touchdowns (career)— 42
Touchdowns (season)—22 (1st
Trips to state track meet—2
State medals—2 (Gold in 100;
bronze in the 110 - meter hurdles). District track championships—

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