‘Underrated’ senior aims to keep Plum among elite

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Monday, August 23, 2021 | 5:10 PM


When asked about senior wide receiver/defensive back Logan Brooks, Plum coach Matt Morgan said that he is one of the most underrated players in all of the WPIAL.

That’s fine with Brooks.

He’s not concerned about where he ranks and instead will prove his value with his play.

What Brooks, a senior, brings to the team is a willingness to do what it takes to win.

He also provides much needed experience for a younger core of skill position players after the graduation of many players who helped lead the Mustangs to their first conference title since 1983.

“Growing up, I was surrounded by a lot of talent and last year’s senior class with Max Matolcy and Reed Martin was incredible to be around,” Brooks said. “I looked up to those guys, and now the younger guys probably look up to me. We have a very young team. Our two biggest classes are freshmen and sophomores.”

Brooks joked that throwing isn’t really his forte, so you probably won’t see him passing the ball downfield on any trick plays, but outside of that, he is ready and able to help where he can.

He was second on the team in receptions last season with 18 and averaged a gaudy 21.6 yards per catch. He had seven total touchdowns, six in the passing game.

“I feel like I’m pretty versatile,” Brooks said. “I’m willing to block for anyone else or run routes just to allow other guys to get open. I can run the ball. I can catch. Everything but throwing I feel like I’m fairly good at.”

Brooks will have a new quarterback after the graduation of Ryan Hubner. Junior Santino Saccone and sophomore Sean Franzi are competing for the starting job. Brooks took an active role in helping each one of them develop over the summer.

“During the offseason, we’d go up to the field every time we didn’t have a lift,” Brooks said. “We’d just get together and work on routes. Sometimes, if they made a mistake and I felt like it was getting in their head, I’d tell them that it was OK, everyone makes mistakes, and we would get through it. They are both pretty young and with every practice, I see each one of them getting better. It’s good to watch.”

With Matolcy and Martin graduated, Brooks will have a couple new receivers by his side in Samo Pitts and freshman Darian Nelson. Pitts transferred from Clairton last year and saw some action but was ineligible for the postseason. He brings a size component that should complement Brooks.

“I don’t remember the last time we had a 6-foot-5 receiver,” Brooks said. “He can run. He can catch. He can make moves in the open field. It’s exciting, because you’re either going to have to double-cover him or me or another one of our receivers. We have a really talented receiving corps. Darian Nelson can move too. By the time he’s a senior, I think he’ll have plenty of Division I schools offering him. He’s that good.”

As a senior, Brooks wants to continue what his predecessors did last year. He doesn’t want last year to be the exception, but the start of a tradition of winning football at Plum.

“Our coaches remind us every day that we have a target on our back,” Brooks said. “Teams are looking to beat us instead of saying. ‘Oh, it’s Plum. This will be an easy game.’ We wanted to change the culture and that’s what we did.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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