Top-50 Overall Prospect and New Ohio State Offer Cam Brooks Sees Larry Johnson As “The Best D-Line Coach in the Nation”

By Andy Anders on June 19, 2024 at 8:35 am
Cam Brooks

The reputation of Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson precedes him in yet another recruitment.

Four-star defensive end Cam Brooks, a top-50 prospect in the 2026 recruiting class, trekked to Columbus for the first time on Monday for the penultimate high school football camp hosted by the Buckeyes this June, and it was Johnson’s name that stood out as his top attraction to Ohio State.

“Man, I love Ohio State,” Brooks said. “Larry Johnson is the best D-line coach in the nation, period. Or at least second-best. It’s a place I’d love to play at.”

Brooks earned an offer shortly after participating in the camp, solidifying himself as an early target along the defensive front for Johnson in the 2026 cycle.

“It’d mean a lot,” Brooks told Eleven Warriors before receiving the scholarship offer. “I don’t even want to say too much, but it’d mean a lot.”

Brooks is the No. 41 overall prospect in the country and the No. 5 defensive lineman in the 247Sports composite rankings, which also rank him as the No. 8 recruit in Georgia, where he plays for Thomas County Central. The Yellow Jackets received 8.5 sacks’ worth of production from Brooks in his sophomore season to follow up on a freshman season that featured 27 tackles and four sacks.

Thomas holds a combined record of 27-1 across those two campaigns, including a 15-0 run to a Georgia Class 6A state championship in 2023. Spearheaded by Brooks, the Yellow Jackets' defense held opponents to 9.6 points per game, posting five shutouts.

A torn labrum required surgery for Brooks this offseason, and he didn’t participate in the one-on-one portion of Ohio State’s camp as a result, but he’s already close to back to full strength.

“It’s good,” Brooks said of his recovery. “I’ve got one more month and then I’m good (to return to full speed).”

As for his visit to Ohio State, the Buckeyes’ facilities made an impression on Brooks while he went through drills with a crop of top defensive linemen.

“The first place I came was to camp, that’s the first place I’ve been,” Brooks said. “I didn’t even get to go around (campus) yet. But what I’ve seen, shoot, it’s different.”

It’s safe to say that Brooks’ opinions on Johnson will carry a heavy weight as his recruitment progresses. Brooks said that his relationship with and the acumen of his future defensive line coach and the staffers surrounding that coach are among the top factors that will influence his decision.

“A great D-line staff, a school that produces (edge rushers) into the pros, great relationships. That’s pretty much it,” Brooks said.

Brooks doesn’t currently have any dates set with schools, Ohio State or otherwise, for further recruiting visits. Going into his junior year of high school, the plan is to keep honing his craft and let the recruitment chips fall where they may.

“Just adding more moves to what I’ve already got,” Brooks said. “That's the main thing.”

With Johnson’s reputation, the Buckeyes should be a factor in that recruitment for the long haul.

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