One of the early contenders for the top spot in the class of 2013 state rankings is Oakdale (Minn.) Tartan cornerback Keelon Brookins. The 5-11, 175-pound Brookins is drawing interest from schools throughout the Midwest and is looking at trips to three Big Ten programs next month.
Wisconsin's junior day will be the first Brookins will attend next month. He heads to Madison on Feb. 18 with a base knowledge of what the program has to offer because of previous trips to the campus.
"I'm hoping to talk more with the coaches, meet with the returning players and seeing how their season went. It's just being able to be on the campus and getting to look around more without being on a certain timetable."
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Brookins said his interest in the Badgers at this point is "really strong," and Wisconsin coaches have expressed interest in him playing on either side of the football.
Brookins has also been hearing from Michigan State pretty regularly thus far in the process. He is looking to attend junior days in East Lansing and at the home-state school, Minnesota, next month as well. Playing out his college career in-state is an idea that has grown on Brookins.
"I've thought about it quite a lot lately, and I wouldn't mind staying at home one bit," Brookins said. "They have really good coaches who have a strong background and foundation. They'll bring cheers to Minnesota the next couple years."
Other schools that have been showing regular interest include Notre Dame, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State. He is still waiting on his first offer.
One reason Brookins has not picked up an offer yet is because he missed all but one game of his junior season while he rehabilitated a torn ACL. The one game he did play in he totaled 12 tackles, one interception and a punt block.