Not long after being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, former Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks has been inducted into the collegiate version, as well.
Brooks’ list of accomplishments and accolades is long, accumulated as both a Seminole and Buccaneer.
He enrolled at Florida State University in 1991 and excelled for four years until being drafted in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay. His final two seasons in garnet and gold ended with consensus first-team All-America selections and he was a member of the 1993 team that beat Nebraska 18-16 in the Orange Bowl to secure the program’s first national championship.
Brooks was named ACC Player of the Year in 1994 and was a finalist for the Butkus, Lombardi and Football Writer’s Defensive Player of the Year awards his junior and senior seasons.
Brooks, a Pensacola native who graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, joins 13 others inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame, located in Atlanta. That list is comprised of Mike Utley (Washington State), Rod Woodson (Purdue), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Bert Jones (LSU), Troy Davis (Iowa State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Bill Royce (Ashland) and Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska-Omaha).
After putting his stamp on the Florida State athletics department, Brooks was joined by longtime Tampa Bay teammate as one of the Bucs’ two first-round picks in 1995. Brooks’ selection at 28th overall and Sapp at No. 12 set Tampa Bay up for its most successful stretch in franchise history, culminating with the Super Bowl XXXVII championship victory over Oakland in 2002-2003.
In 14 seasons with Tampa Bay, Brooks never missed any of the team’s 224 games over that span and started every one except for three his rookie year. After racking up 11 Pro Bowl appearances and nine All-Pro selections among other accolades, Brooks was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
Brooks had his name and No. 55 added to the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor last year. His Seminoles jersey is also retired in Tallahassee, though the No. 10 is still available to wear. Of Florida State’s eight retired numbers, others such as Chris Weinke’s No. 16, Warrick Dunn’s No. 28 and Ron Sellers’ No. 34 have been worn again.