Brooks, a 6-3, 240-pound linebacker considered the No. 1 high school prospect in Virginia this year, signed with the Cavaliers in February but did not meet all of the NCAA requirements for freshman eligibility. He had a grade-point average above 2.5, but he failed to reach the minimum SAT or ACT score the NCAA requires for status as a full qualifier.
Virginia had indicated it would accept him as a partial qualifier .. a student-athlete who doesn't meet all the qualifications set forth by the NCAA for grade-point average in the core curriculum and standardized test scores.
Partial qualifiers are ineligible as freshmen but have the opportunity to regain the lost year of eligibility if they graduate in four years. Brooks and his family did not want to sacrifice a year of eligibility. He plans to sign with the ACC school again in 2003.
"This isn't a shock or anything," Bill Brown, who coached Brooks at Hylton, told the Washington Post. "The family and Ahmad have been very aware of this [possibility] from the beginning."
Brooks was part of a recruiting class of 10 SuperPrep All-Americans, four of them Parade All-Americans. He made 207 tackles last season, including 144 solo and 34 for losses.
His talents never better displayed than in last week's Virginia High School All-Star game, when he returned a punt for 76 yards and also threw a touchdown pass and was voted his team's Most Valuable Offensive Player.
He also was named the Post's Defensive Player of the Year for the D.C.-area last fall.