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Former DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks, left, talks with one of his coaches during a game against McDonogh in 2016.
Former DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks, left, talks with one of his coaches during a game against McDonogh in 2016. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

DeMatha Catholic High football coach Elijah Brooks sent several of his players to Maryland in recent seasons, including running backs Anthony McFarland Jr. and Lorenzo Harrison III.

Now Brooks will be working with McFarland and Harrison as Terps running backs coach, as he became the first to confirm he will be joining new coach Michael Locksley’s staff in College Park.

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Brooks, who has been DeMatha’s coach since 2011 since being promoted at age 27, announced on Instagram and later issued a statement saying he would be leaving the Hyattsville school to help Locksley rebuild the Terps.

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“It was truly an honor to lead DeMatha for the past eight years,” Brooks said in a statement. “I shared so many great experiences with phenomenal coaches, players, colleagues and parents. I’m excited to begin the next chapter at the University of Maryland.”

Brooks replaces Jafar Williams, a former Maryland receiver who coached the running backs in his only season back at his alma mater. It isn’t certain whether Williams will remain on the staff.

Along with McFarland, who as a redshirt freshman this fall broke the single-season freshman rushing record with 1,034 yards and four touchdowns — including 298 yards in Maryland’s 52-51 overtime loss to then-No. 10 Ohio State — Brooks inherits a strong group at running back.

It also includes rising juniors Javon Leake, who rushed 34 times for 309 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns, and Tayon Fleet-Davis, who rushed 75 times for 331 yards and five touchdowns, as well as Harrison and fellow rising senior Jake Funk, both of whom missed a large chunk of the season with injuries.

Brooks will become the team’s main recruiter for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which includes DeMatha. Three of Brooks’ current players — senior defensive backs DeMarcco Hellams and Nick Cross, and junior running back MarShawn Lloyd — all have offers from Maryland.

Hellams has verbally committed to Alabama, while Cross has given his verbal commitment to Florida State. Lloyd is ranked No. 25 overall nationally and is the fourth-best running back in the Class of 2020, according to 247Sports.

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