Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Derrick Brooks
Derrick Dewan Brooks wasn’t in it for the money, nor was he in it for the fame. Derrick Brooks played every game as if it was his last, because football was what he was born to do. After an amazing 13 year career filled with many accolades and achievements, Brooks will be recognized and enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Before the soon to be hall of famer steps onto the stage, lets take a look back the career of Derrick Brooks.
Derrick Brooks is a Florida boy through and through. Born in Pensacola, Florida in 1973, Brooks never left the sunshine state during his football career. He played his high school football at Washington High School in Pensacola. As a 4-star recruit, Brooks decided to play his college football at Florida State University. Brooks played safety and wore number 10 during his freshman year at Florida State, but switched to linebacker before his sophomore season. Brooks finished his college career as a 2-time all-american and won a national championship with the Noles in 1993.
Brooks was selected 28th overall in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his 13-year career with the Buccaneers, Brooks was selected to 11 pro bowls and was a 9-time all-pro linebacker. Brooks was also selected as the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2000 for his volunteer and charity work in and around the Tampa Bay area. Brooks greatest achievement during his NFL career was during the 2001-2002 season where Brooks helped lead an amazing defense all the way to a Super Bowl victory against the Oakland Raiders, in which he intercepted a Rich Gannon pass and returned it 44-yards for a touchdown, which led to Buccaneers radio play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff yelling ‘There’s the dagger!”.
After Brooks retired before the 2010 season, Brooks continued his charity work with Brooks Bunch and youth scholarship foundations in Tampa Bay. Brooks headed the founding of Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa, and became part owner and president of the Tampa Bay Storm, a team in the Arena Football League.
Derrick Brooks had his number 10 at Florida State University retired in 2010, and will have his number 55 jersey retired by the Buccaneers when he enters the Ring or Honor on September 14th. Brooks will be the 24th linebacker and 4th player from Florida to enter the Hall of Fame. Congratulations Derrick Brooks on a wonderful career, and a well deserved induction into the hall with the rest of the games greats.