By Joe Henricksen
DePaul and coach Oliver Purnell dipped into the south suburbs again for a talented and athletic wing as Rich South's Macari Brooks gave the Blue Demons a commitment on Wednesday. Brooks will join Crete-Monee's jumping jack Jamie Crockett in DePaul's 2011 recruiting class.
"Jamie [Crockett] is one of my best friends, we grew up together," said Brooks. "We have always talked about having each other's back and having a chance to go to school together and play together in college. I am just so excited right now that it's going to happen."
Brooks, who is among the top 20 prospects in the senior class, is another type of active, athletic player that should fit right into and flourish in Purnell's system. Although just 6-2, Brooks is a playmaker and finisher at the rim and is at his best in the open court and making plays around the basket. He's not just an athlete; like Crockett, he's a jaw-dropping athlete. While his overall skill level does need to make strides, he possesses Big East, high-major athleticism.
The high-flying Brooks said there were several factors that played a part in choosing DePaul, including the new coaching staff, the style of play and playing in the Big East.
"They have been on me for quite some time and I love that they get up and down the floor," said Brooks. "They've been a favorite of mine, and I've been thinking DePaul since the summer when Jamie and I would talk about it. Plus, it's not very far from home and it's a chance to play in the Big East."
Rich South assistant coach Walt Woghiren, who has helped Brooks through the recruiting process and been a steady guidance and influence, stated Brooks is on pace to qualify and play as a freshman.
The commitment from Brooks shows once again the emphasis Purnell and his staff have placed on recruiting the Chicago area. Both Crockett and Brooks are members of the Mac Irvin Fire club program. And a third member of the Fire, De La Salle's Mike Shaw, has DePaul among his final short list of schools.
"Hopefully we can now get Mike Shaw," Brooks added.