JT Brooks commits to Emory & Henry football program

Local

A Hawkins County football player who was paralyzed during a scrimmage nearly two years ago, announced where he’s going to college.

JT Brooks is just months away from graduating from Cherokee High School. Wednesday afternoon, the community was by his side as he announced he’s joining the Emory & Henry College football program.

“I want to say thank y’all for all coming it means so much to me,” Brooks said at the beginning of his commitment ceremony.

Brooks was offered a graduate assistant position with the football program.

He told News Channel 11’s Justin Soto he visited the college twice, “as soon as I left I knew that’s where I was going to go,” Brooks said.

His father is also an alumnus of Emory & Henry.

“I’ll do whatever Coach Newsome needs me to do, help the coaches out with film study, drawing up plays,” Brooks said.

He was grateful to get the experience of committing to a college. “You know it’s not the signing I envisioned two years ago, but I’m still here. My family and friends are still supporting me. I still have knowledge of the game,” Brooks said.

Cherokee High School Head Football Coach Cody Baugh was there that May 2016 day when JT was paralyzed on the field. “I was about 6 feet from it so you know it was something that hit me hard,” Coach Baugh said.

He was by his side again on Wednesday, to celebrate.

 “I feel like he’s still going to make great strides in the future and I do feel like he’ll walk again, that’s something that’s very dear to my heart,” Coach Baugh said.

 JT even showed News Channel 11’s Justin Soto his new truck that was designed for him. “Get in and drive, it’s just like before, pretty easy,” Brooks said.

He plans to bring the truck to college with him. “I’m still here, I’m still breathing. I can still move my arms, I can still laugh, joke with my friends, talk, eat and just all of the simple things. I’m really blessed to be here still,” Brooks said.

JT plans to study business and live on campus. His mother tells us he did get academic scholarships to go Emory & Henry in the fall.

He’s continuing to work hard in therapy to build strength in his legs and to stand up, with help.

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