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Better Know a Freshman: Marcel Brooks

Not many possess the defensive versatility of this Texas recruit.

A forewarning to you readers: this article will be heavily slanted. Not only is he a Tiger, but Brooks is from my hometown so just be prepared. I’m going to slightly alter the format of this one just because his uniqueness causes issues with my previous style.

The Film

Not many times do you watch a highlight film and think he could play three positions at the next level. If I told you he was coming to LSU as a wide receiver? Yeah, I can see it. I mean he constantly gets open and knows how to get the extra yard. How about running back? That works too, although John Emery Jr. and Tyrion Davis-Price kind of close that one out. That means he has to be a linebacker right? Just look at that speed off the edge, he would be a constant thorn in the side of the backfield. What if I told you it was none of the above?

Now yes, if you read all the fall updates, then that all goes out the window, but Dave Aranda and safety JaCoby Stevens helped create a position perfect for Brooks. While out-weighing Brooks by about 30 pounds, Stevens showed the athletic ability to play as a cover safety, while also coming up in the box to make plays in the run game and even rush the passer. Brooks has maintained his 6-2, 195-pound frame even after arriving at LSU, so I would expect they utilize him as a more athletic version of Stevens, which sounds scary just typing that out. I could still see him get around to the 210 range the longer he stays in the Moffitt program and just make his hits that much more punishing.

The Story

A target of nearly every major school in the region, Brooks always showed a favoritism towards LSU even as offers came in from schools like Texas and Alabama, who would fall second in the end. He committed to the Tigers in April before his senior year with some help from his sister to choose his future. Things died down from there outside of the random message board rumor or two during the season, which Brooks would waste little time in shooting down.

The Numbers

110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.

100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.

97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.

89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.

79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.

247 Composite Rating: *****

247 Composite Ranking: .9861

Brooks ended his senior season where he rose up to midway through his junior season. A drop to 121 following his junior year was responded to with a solid senior season that would shoot him right back up to 32.

The Future

His future is a curious one as they still try to nail down exactly where he will play for the Tigers, and it appears that he has begun that process in that previously-mentioned Stevens role. Brooks didn’t play too much safety in high school as he was playing a lot of offense for Marcus. There will definitely be a learning curve there, but LSU is in a good spot with guys like Grant Delpit, Stevens, Todd Harris and Eric Monroe with experience. Delpit is likely NFL bound after this season, meaning there will be a starting spot there if Brooks can convert more into a full-time safety, but I think he will still see plenty of time behind Stevens. He could even come in as an outside linebacker on passing downs to provide an extra pass rush.

High End: His athletic ability and skillset help turn Brooks into one of the next great safeties at LSU.

Low End: The transition to a full-time safety doesn’t go as well as expected, and he slides down to more of a linebacker.

Realistic: While I love the guy, it remains to be seen what he can do at safety. Scrimmage reports have given him a lot of praise, so I think it would be safe to say he will be a name you hear announced often on Saturdays for years to come.