Gamecocks’ WR Brooks finally cleared by NCAA to play this season

Jalen Brooks was cleared to play for South Carolina on Wednesday by the NCAA.
Jalen Brooks was cleared to play for South Carolina on Wednesday by the NCAA.(South Carolina Athletics)
Updated: Oct. 21, 2020 at 4:18 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks got some great news on Wednesday.

Heading into their big matchup Saturday against LSU, Will Muschamp will have one more offensive weapon at his disposal in Jalen Brooks.

The 6-foot-3 junior wide receiver out of Harrisburg, N.C. was cleared by the NCAA making him eligible to suit up for Carolina on game days this season.

“Really happy for this young man. He’s worked extremely hard. He’s never complained. We’re doing so much good-on-good work that he’s with our offense a lot," said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp during Wednesday’s SEC Football Head Coaches Teleconference. “We expect him to contribute on Saturday.”

Before arriving at Carolina this season, Brooks spent the spring semester at Tarleton State in Texas. Before that, he played at Wingate during his sophomore campaign. There, he played in 12 games and caught 35 passes for 751 yards and six touchdowns.

Shortly before the season started, the NCAA denied Brooks' request for immediate eligibility. Not long after, the Gamecocks filed an appeal to try to get Brooks on the field as soon as possible.

The addition of Brooks to the active roster is expected to give the Gamecocks a crucial boost in the passing game with Shi Smith leading the wide receiving corps this season. Through four games, Smith has 34 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns. The second-leading pass-catcher on the team is tight end Nick Muse with 13 catches for 185 yards.

With that, Muschamp is still looking to get more help at the wide receiver position for quarterback Collin Hill and Brooks may be able to provide just that.

“He’s a guy that can stretch the field,” Muschamp said. “In our camp, he’s one of the faster guys that we have on our team. He can really run on the top end and finish down the field. He’s got good ball skills. Like I said before, he’s very bright so he can learn multiple spots. He can play inside and he can play outside. He gives us a lot of variety as far as the different stuff he’s going to bring to the table and help us.”

South Carolina takes on LSU at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. The game can be seen on ESPN.

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