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Texas pledge Jonathon Brooks rushes into history, state championship game

Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks, who has been committed to Texas since May, will sign with the Longhorns on Wednesday and then play for a state championship Thursday.

GEORGETOWN — Jonathon Brooks rushed into the Hallettsville High School record books last week when the three-star Texas pledge scored seven touchdowns to propel the Brahmas into the Class 3A Division I state championship game.

It's the first time Hallettsville has reached a state championship game in football. 

Brooks, who plans to sign a national letter of intent with the Longhorns on Wednesday, will then play in the championship game Thursday night against Tuscola Jim Ned — a life-changing 48 hours. 

“We leave Wednesday morning, so I’ll sign my letter of intent on Wednesday and then fax it in. I’ll have my ceremony when we get back,” Brooks said. “It feels unreal, but we need to focus on winning the state game.”

Brooks remains focused on the state championship game despite setting rushing records. He surpassed 3,000 rushing yards and 60 touchdowns this season. He rushed for 304 yards and six touchdowns on 25 carries in the win over Llano last Thursday night in Georgetown. He also returned an interception for a score. 

“Our goal is to win state, and we haven’t done that yet,” he said. “There is no time to reflect on the individual stuff. We need to focus on the game and on the win more than where we’re playing or what we’re playing for.”

It hasn’t stopped his head coach from reflecting on the video game numbers Brooks is putting up. In five playoff games, Brooks has amassed 1,399 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns.  

“I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I’ve never had a running back like Jonathon Brooks,” Brahmas coach Tommy Psenick told reporters after the game. “I’ve had a lot of tough young men, a lot of guys that could run, but Jon’s just got that visitation and got a lot of heart. He finds a way to get it done when you think nothing is there.”

The 6-foot, 185-pound Brooks is Texas’ only running back pledge in the 2021 cycle. He’s one of 18 commitments the Longhorns plan to sign when the early signing period begins Wednesday. The class ranks 17th nationally and second in the Big 12.

Despite some of Texas' on-field struggles, Brooks never wavered from his commitment. 

“We need to put our hearts into next year and win the Big 12,” he said. “That whole offensive line is young.”

His loyalty to Texas stems from the UT coaching staff’s belief in his ability, he said. 

“It was great to get an offer that early," Brooks said. "No one else offered me over that next few months; I felt like they were the only ones that believed in me at that moment. Texas gave me an opportunity of a lifetime. I like the coaches. It is close to home. My parents like it. My whole family likes it. It is a great college and community.”