Lovie Smith chose a familiar name for what is believed to be the first scholarship he has offered since being hired as Illinois coach Monday.
DeCalon Brooks is a three-star inside linebacker from Gaither High in Tampa, Fla. His dad is Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, who played his entire career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith, of course, spent the last two seasons as coach of the Bucs.
“My dad always tells me, ‘Go out there and just play ball, don’t think about anything else,’ ” DeCalon told The Tampa Bay Times last fall. “My dad is always motivating me to focus on Decalon Brooks, not Derrick Brooks.”
DeCalon has five offers, including Florida State, Louisville, Florida International and South Florida. He attended Florida State’s Junior Day two weeks ago. Derrick Brooks is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, has his number retired at Florida State and was a member of the 1993 national championship team.
Here is a look at DeCalon from the recent Nike Opening regional: