Elijah Brooks | University of Maryland

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Team: University of Maryland
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Running Backs Coach

Biography

Elijah Brooks will enter his third year as the Maryland Running Backs Coach in 2021. Brooks spent eight years from 2011-18 molding some of the nation’s best players for future success in the collegiate and professional ranks as the head coach of local powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School.

In 2020, Brooks coached redshirt senior running back Jake Funk to his best season as a Terp, leading the FBS in yards per carry (8.60 ypc w/ at least 60 rushes) and ranking second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in rushing yards per game (129.0). In just four games, Funk rushed for 516 yards and posted four touchdowns en route to being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft, marking the second-straight year a running back that played for Brooks has been drafted. 

Brooks coached a dynamic running back unit that ran for 1,858 yards and 20 touchdowns led by the tandem of Javon Leake and Anthony McFarland Jr in 2019. Leake finished the season fourth in the FBS in yards per carry, averaging 7.22 yards per rush attempt, good for seventh all-time in program history and the highest yards per carry number ever by a Maryland junior. Under Brooks' tutelage, the duo of Leake and McFarland each had eight touchdowns, making Maryland one of only two schools in the Power Five with two running backs with eight or more touchdowns.

McFarland would go on to get drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers while Leake signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. 

Brooks also coached a number of Terps in high school, including McFarland and Tino Ellis, who are now in the NFL and current Maryland players Nick Cross, Austin Fontaine, Evan Gregory, Marcus Minor, Eric Najarian, Oluwaseun Oluwatmi Kobi Thomas and DJ Turner. 

A number of Stags that played for Brooks at DeMatha have gone on to see NFL success, including linebacker Cameron Wake, safety Rodney McLeoud and offensive linemen Arie and Cyrus Kouandijo. 

As head coach at DeMatha, Brooks won four consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships from 2014-17, posting a 72-20 record during that span. Before his stint as head coach, Brooks served as the running backs coach from 2007-11.

Brooks starred as a running back in college, racking up 3,025 rushing yards and 549 receiving yards at Kent State and William & Mary.

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