Tatum’s Chaston Brooks Commits To Lamar
The chase for Chaston Brooks came to an end Thursday with the Tatum athlete announcing he will sign with Lamar next month.
Brooks tweeted out the news via his personal Twitter account.
Lamar, an FCS school competing in the Ark-La-Tex based Southland Conference, entered the picture on Dec. 3, just a few days after New Mexico State broke the ice in Brooks' recruiting process.
New Mexico State offered Brooks the opportunity to play on the FBS side of Division I football, but the Cardinals held a big advantage with proximity. The drive from Tatum to Beaumont is about three hours door-to-door.
Brooks primarily played quarterback and defensive back during his senior season as Tatum made the transition from Class 2A to the new Class 4A. He helped lead the Eagles to the third round of the Class 4A Division II playoffs and a 7-6 overall record.
Lamar wrapped up its 2014 season with a big 20-17 win against No. 17 McNeese State and an 8-4 overall record. It came in third in the final Southland Conference standings, but it was not one of the three league teams picked by the selection committee to advance to the FCS playoffs.
The Cardinals play a hearty conference schedule featuring important regional games against Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State in addition to tilts against Abilene Christian, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Nicholls State and Northwestern State.
Brooks and company also will be tested early in the season with a road game at Baylor on Sept. 12.
Ray Woodard just completed his fifth season as the head of the Lamar program. A native of Corrigan, he kicked off his collegiate playing career and subsequent coaching career at Kilgore College. He earned a masters degree at UT-Tyler in 1991 after a brief NFL playing career ended.
Woodard served as a positional coach and defensive coordinator in NFL Europe and rose to the head coaching ranks at Navarro College in 2007 before being hired away by Lamar the next season.
The head coach played on the defensive line at Texas after transferring from Kilgore college from 1982 to 1983. He was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos organizations as a player in 1987.
Woodard finished the credits he needed for a bachelors degree at Sam Houston State in 1988 and earned a doctorate just last year from Lamar while serving as its head coach.
Brooks can officially sign with the Cardinals on Feb. 4.