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Garrison Brooks recruitment leaves uncertainty for UNC

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for Auburn, Ala., 4-star power forward Garrison Brooks. Since decommitting from Mississippi State earlier this month, the 6-9, 215-pound standout has been entertaining pitches from numerous schools.

North Carolina made a run at Brooks in the fall. He was one of several 2017 big men with UNC offers at the time, including signees Sterling Manley and Brandon Huffman. Though he spurned UNC for Mississippi State in November, the Tar Heels have gotten a second chance to win him over.

Brooks’ decommitment from the Bulldogs was especially unusual given the fact that his father, George Brooks, is an assistant on Ben Howland’s MSU staff. Initially, the Bulldogs would not grant Brooks a release from his letter of intent, per ESPN. But with little to gain and much to lose from a public relations perspective, Mississippi State eventually relented and granted Brooks a full release, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

Brooks, the No. 128 prospect overall nationally in 247Sports’ composite rankings, has reportedly welcomed in Kansas and Iowa State in recent days. UNC head coach Roy Williams was planning on joining Bill Self and Steve Prohm in making the trek to Alabama this week. However, according to InsideCarolina.com, that visit never materialized.

With Justin Jackson off to the NBA, the Heels have the room to make multiple additions to their 2017 class. Uncommitted 5-star forward Knox has been UNC’s favorite 2017 target for well over a year. He’ll likely make a decision in early May.

Adding a third freshman big man would benefit the Tar Heels, regardless of Knox’s decision. UNC could especially use the depth in the scenario that center Tony Bradley stays in the NBA Draft.

Brooks’ recruitment involves a lot of uncertainty, and North Carolina hasn’t cleared all of the hurdles to land him. However, recruiting can change in a hurry. The Tar Heels hope this recruitment shifts in their favor.

 

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