Meridian Star

January 30, 2013

Brooks excited to head to Alcorn State

By Jamie Wachter / Sports Editor
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     After doubling its win total in 2012, there is added excitement around the Alcorn State football program.

    Former Northeast Lauderdale and East Central Community College star Ben Brooks is hoping to add even more as one of the newest Braves signed during the early junior-college signing period that closed earlier this month.

    “I really like the program and I like what they’re building up here,” Brooks said about heading to Alcorn. “Education-wise, I definitely thought it was the best fit for me.”

    In choosing the Braves over offers from Delta State and Midwestern State among other Division II schools, Brooks said there was a lot to like about Alcorn and coach Jay Hopson, who led the Braves to a 4-7 finish in his first season at the helm.

    “It’s like a dream come true,” he said. “It may not be top Division I, but Division I is Division I ball. And that’s like a dream come true to me.

    “I feel like he’s brought new life to the team and to the program, with everything he brings from his coaching experience from all the other colleges he’s been coaching at. And I feel like he’s going to worth playing for here at Alcorn.”

    While playing for Hopson and in the Southwestern Athletic Conference is a dream come true, Brooks hopes to fill some dreams for the Braves’ head coach — a former defensive back himself at Ole Miss and a former assistant at Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Michigan among others.

    “They want me to play corner, be a real physical corner,” he said. “They believe I’ll be the best for that. And they’re looking for some leadership on the team, and transferring over from a juco, I have that experience that they are looking for.”

    And along with that physical style of play, Brooks also hopes to bring some leadership with him from Decatur. That will be aided by already joining the program for the spring semester. In fact, the 5-foot-9 cornerback said

    “It’s a lot bigger than East Central and a lot more walking,” Brooks added. “There’s a lot more people. But the campus is real nice and there’s a lot of friendly people that have been helping me around, learning campus. But it’s nice being up here, I’m enjoying it. It’s a real nice campus.

    “I’m glad I’m here in the spring and can go ahead and get used to what the coaches are looking for and I can get myself built into the program instead of coming in the fall and trying to catch up with everybody. I will be a step ahead of those guys.”

    With Brooks now moving on to the next step, he is thankful for the two-year stop at ECCC.

    “I definitely feel like I made the better choice when I went to juco because I don’t think in my mind, I was fully ready to make that transition yet,” he said.