I am super excited to be writing this article because now two of my former teammates were picked up in this year's NFL draft! This article aims to inform Dallas Cowboys fans about their 244th pick, Jalen Brooks!
Brooks has had a less-than-traditional college career. He started his college career at Wingate University, a DII school outside Charlotte, North Carolina. While at Wingate, he also competed with the school's track and field team. During his first year with the Bulldogs, he posted 297 yards and 4 touchdowns, and in his sophomore season improved on those numbers finishing the season with 751 yards and 6 touchdowns. In his sophomore season, he earned all South Atlantic Conference Honors.
After his sophomore season at Wingate, Brooks transferred to Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas. He attended Tarleton for the spring semester in 2020, but due to unforeseen events back home in Charlotte, he searched for a school to play ball at closer to home.
Now the story goes that as he searched for a school closer to home, he connected with Daniel Jones, the New York Giants quarterback, and Duke University Graduate. After his workout with Jones, Jones reached out to Duke's coaching staff and basically said, "You have to get this kid." A few days later, the Blue Devils offered Brooks a spot on the team.
After Duke offered Brooks a spot on the team, more DI schools began reaching out, and he eventually chose to go to the University of South Carolina. Within a few months, he went from playing DII football to not knowing what his future looked like to playing in the SEC.
In his first season at South Carolina (2020), he had to miss the first four games because he did not gain NCAA eligibility until the fifth game since he was a late transfer. He did not start in his first two eligible games, but he was named a starter for the Gamecocks in the last four games of the season. He caught 11 passes for 100 yards that season.
The next season (2021), he continued to start for the Gamecocks for the first six games of the year. That season, home called, and he had to miss the rest of the season. He improved upon his statistics with 14 passes caught for 187 yards.
The Gamecocks welcomed Brooks back with open arms in 2022, his Super Senior season, where he quickly became a household name for Gamecock fans. He started in all twelve games of the season, with notable performances against Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. He would finish the season with 33 receptions for 504 yards. He would also be awarded the 2022 Overcoming Adversity Award and the 2022 Community Service Award, voted by South Carolina Coaches.
Brooks is not known for his scoring ability, but he is known for making big plays happen when big plays need to be made, even if he doesn't have the ball. Brooks caught a series of insane catches during his Super Senior Season giving content creators a plethora of content to work with, and he knows how to disrupt the defense with his 6-2, 205-pound stature.
Brooks is no stranger to adversity. He is not someone many had on their radar coming into the draft. However, he has heart, he is grateful for every opportunity he is given, and I believe he will be an asset that the Cowboys will not regret drafting. He is deeply connected with his faith in Jesus Christ, and per sources, he had stated, "God is going to put me where he needs me to be." That place is Dallas.