From local high school football star to the NFL, Jalen Brooks returns to face the Panthers

CHARLOTTE — From Wingate University to Tarleton State, to the University of South Carolina, to the NFL.

That’s the journey a former Hickory Ridge High School football star took before landing in Dallas.

>>> See the local athlete’s journey from little league to the big league:

This year, Jalen Brooks was the Dallas Cowboys’ last pick in the NFL draft as the 244th overall pick.

Last Sunday, he reeled in his first NFL catch, finishing with four in the game against the New York Giants.

Channel 9 Sports Reporter DaShawn Brown spoke with his mother, who watched the milestone catch from her home in Harrisburg.

“I was screaming ‘Yes, that’s my baby. Yes, Jalen!’,” Lakesha Brooks said. “The adversity that he has gone through -- I could tear up now just the things that we went through, he went through, but he continued to have his faith.”

Today, Brooks will be back home to play against the Carolina Panthers in front of his family and friends.

>>> At the video at the top of the page, hear Lakesha and Jalen talk about the journey from the Tar Heel State to the NFL.

(WATCH: Panthers safety Sam Franklin Jr. talks about his football roots - Part 1)