Brookins is the first to commit to Jerry Kill's class of 2013 and the start to another great in-state recruiting class.
Keelon Brookins, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete from Tartan (MN) High, became the first player from the Class of 2013 to commit to Minnesota.
GopherHole.com caught up with Tartan head coach Tim Murtha to learn more about his standout’s decision to become a Golden Gopher.
Gopher Hole: Were you surprised at all that he committed so early to the Gophers?
Tim Murtha: No. I knew that it was something that he had been considering. I did not know that they had been this far into the conversation with him, but I am not surprised that he took the opportunity when it availed itself.
Gopher Hole: Do you know when they offer him?
Tim Murtha: When I spoke to him today, it sounded like they offered it to him last night.
Gopher Hole: What type of player are the Gophers getting?
Tim Murtha: They are getting a player that works extremely hard, both in the classroom and the weight room and on the practice field. He is a very energetic player who loves the game of football and is also a kid with great character. He is a kid who has been a leader for us, both in the classroom and in the building as well as on the field.
Gopher Hole: I know that he missed most of the season with a knee injury. What are the expectations for him going into his senior year?
Tim Murtha: Going into his senior year, we expected him to be a player who leads through example. We expected him to be a playmaker for us. He is an extremely explosive player who has some great natural instincts that we hope to take advantage of.
Gopher Hole: I know that he plays all over the field for you, but what position do you expect him to play in college?
Tim Murtha: Most schools that were looking at him were looking at him as a safety.
Gopher Hole: What position is he going to play for you this season?
Tim Murtha: He is going to play a little of everything.
Gopher Hole: What are some of the things that, like any kid his age, that he needs to continue to improve on to play at that level.
Tim Murtha: I would say that he needs to improve on his technique, just physically on the field. We know that he is a tremendous athlete. We know that he is good in the classroom, but there are always things that you can do to challenge yourself to get better technique-wise, because when you get to, that next level, there are lots of players who are very athletic and very good in the classroom. What is going to have to separate him is how he develops his technique at his position.
Gopher Hole: H torn his ACL last year. How is his health right now.
Tim Murtha: He has worked really hard. He came back early from that, because he worked so hard on the rehab and he is fine health right now.
Gopher Hole: I know in my dealings with him that he seems like a competitive kid. How hard was it for him to sit out?
Tim Murtha: It was very frustrating for him. He is a kid who wants to be out there every single night.
Gopher Hole: He participated in the U.S. Army Combine. What did he gain from that experience?
Tim Murtha: I think what the combine gives you is the opportunity to test yourself against other quality talent and to get some exposure.