By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Blair Brooks always will standout as the grandson of Iowa radio legend Bob Brooks, but Blair is using his athletic ability to standout in another way.
A multi-sport star and a senior at Marion High School, Blair Brooks currently has scholarship offers for football from South Dakota and Western Illinois, along with an offer in track and field from the University of Iowa.
Blair appreciates all the attention he has received, but admits that a scholarship offer from Iowa for football would be special.
“It would mean a lot just being my first Power Five offer and with my family history,” Blair Brooks said. “But I’m just trying to go to whichever school gives me the best opportunity, that’ll be the best one.
“I’m just trying to wait it out and see what happens because South Dakota just gave me a scholarship offer the other day. I’m just kind of feeling it out focusing on my high school team throughout football season and then see what happens.”
If there is such a thing as being born and raised a Hawkeye, then Blair Brooks is it.
His grandfather covered Hawkeye athletics on the radio for over a half century, and up until his death in June 2016, while his father is Iowa sideline reporter Rob Brooks.
Blair said Iowa track coach Joey Woody is on board with him running track and playing football for the Hawkeyes, but Blair has yet to discuss that route with the Iowa football staff.
“From Iowa from a football standpoint, I have a preferred walk-on offer I got this summer with a tentative gray shirt,” said Blair, who plays receiver in football and is a star long jumper in track and field. "And then maybe an offer they’ve discussed, they’re just kind of staying open so far.
“But with track, coach Joey Woody is a great guy. He told me if I wanted to do football and track I could. I could jump for the Iowa track team and do both they said. But I’d just have to discuss it with the football coaches. South Dakota also gave me that option.”
Iowa has had success with offering scholarships to instate players late in the recruiting process, and Blair Brooks hopes that his patience and long-standing relationship with Iowa defensive line coach Reese Morgan and the Iowa coaching staff will pay off in the long run.
“Yeah, I’m getting that stay patient thing because the Iowa guys like to wait coach Morgan has said,” Blair Brooks said. “They’ve been straight up with me and honest. They’re just comparing me to a lot of great players that came through the program and its just an honor to even be considered.
“I’ve been really close with coach Morgan. I’ve been speaking to him since about my sophomore year. I’ve been in contact with him and I’m pretty close with all their coaches. I knew coach (Bobby) Kennedy before he left and met with (receivers) coach (Kelton) Copeland a couple times. (Director of player personnel) Scott Southmayd has always been there for me, talking to me, contacting me. I’ve got a pretty good relationship, I’ve been around the program so I know them well.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Blair Brooks believes that his versatility in high school will translate well at the collegiate level.
Along with long jumping 23 feet in track and field and earning all-state honors in football, Blair Brooks also hit .400 for his high school baseball team as a centerfielder.
“I’ve gotten a lot bigger so I have the size,” Blair Brooks said. “I’d say I have pretty good speed and I can jump pretty high. That’s what coach Morgan likes about me is my speed, my size and my jumping ability and overall athleticism being a multi-sport athlete they said they like.”
It is likely that anyone who grew up watching Hawkeye football or men's basketball has a Bob Brooks story, and Blair Brooks is no different.
Blair has so many fond memories of his late grandfather that it's hard for him to pick one or two favorites.
“What I remember most about my grandfather was just growing up around him,” Blair Brooks said. “We would be going out and about or something and people would just stop and talk to him just about anything. He would talk to them for a long time and I just remember never really getting it until now when I’m older.
“He would come to some of my sporting events and stuff and he’d be in a walker sometimes or something. At Marion High School football games his car would be parked right up next to the press box and everything. There’s so many stories I can’t even list them.”
Though it might be difficult at times with his family’s connection to Iowa, Blair Brooks has tried to stay unbiased when deciding the best place for him to continue his athletic career.
“I like to keep an open mind,” Blair Brooks said. “I don’t really have a favorite team. When I go on visits and stuff I just watch the team not minding wins. I’m just trying to watch my position, see what happens, see how it develops. I’ve tried to keep it neutral.”