- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
It was a last-minute decision to visit Wisconsin that really changed the scope of Keelon Brookins’ (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) recruitment.
A former Minnesota verbal commit, the three-star cornerback was asked by the Wisconsin staff to come to the Badgers’ one-day camp. Coach Bret Bielema wanted to see the nation’s 62nd-best corner for an in-person evaluation.
“It was a last-minute decision because I had no plans to do camps at any school this summer,” Brookins wrote in an email. “I did well and earned an offer.”
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Brookins had visited Wisconsin before, but his last visit to the Badgers was much different now that he had an offer.
“It felt really good. I visited the College of Education, met with people in student support services, toured the city, and met in detail with Coach B. and his staff,” Brookins wrote. “At that point I realized that I had never really considered leaving home to go to school due to the offer from Minnesota.”
Now with the Wisconsin visit on his mind, Brookins went back to Minnesota, where he was committed to since the winter. He came back and talked it over with his parents, and they decided to reconvene in a few weeks and discuss his options again.
Having talked a second time about Wisconsin, it became clear to Brookins he needed to make a change.
“I concluded that the opportunity to leave home for school was an experience that I wanted and the Wisconsin offer gives me that,” he wrote. “I still believe that there is no place like home, but there’s also nothing like being given additional opportunities that are worth pursuing. I’ve always said there’s no place like home and that I was going to keep my options open. It made sense to take time and look at both of my options and then make an informed decision.”
“That’s what I did.”
Brookins plans to enroll early at Wisconsin, where his close friend Riley Dearring will play basketball beginning in the 2013-14 season.
548dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert