Former Florida State and Bucs star linebacker Derrick Brooks will have his Seminoles' jersey retired by the school in a ceremony during its game against ACC rival Clemson on Nov. 13.
"I'm excited about it and I'm looking forward to it,'' Brooks said Friday afternoon. "A lot of people did a lot of work to help me get these accomplishments.''
Brooks' No. 10 jersey will be just the eighth retired by FSU. The others in that select fraternity belonged to cornerback Deion Sanders (2), quarterback Chris Weinke (16), quarterback Charlie Ward (17), receiver Fred Biletnikoff (25), tailback Warrick Dunn (28), receiver Ron Sellers (34) and nose guard Ron Simmons (50).
"I'm very happy for Derrick,'' said Dunn, a former teammate both at FSU and with the Bucs. "Derrick embodied the linebacker position as it should be played. He had a great physicality and work ethic.''
Brooks, who blended dazzling speed and uncommon timing to produce game-changing plays, was a two-time first-team all-America as a junior and senior (1993 and 1994). He helped the Seminoles win their first national title (1993) and won an NCAA post-graduate scholarship and a spot on the academic all-America team.
Following his FSU career, he was a first-round NFL draft pick of the Bucs where he became a pillar of one of the league's perennially stingiest defenses, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl 11 times and, of course, leading the Bucs to a win in Super Bowl XXXVII with an interception return for a touchdown.
Brooks received several prestigious awards during his NFL days, including the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, 2003 Bart Starr Award, and the 2004 Byron "Whizzer" White Award. In Tampa, he's worked with Boys & Girls Club kids, including taking youths on educational trips (twice to South Africa) and he helped found the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School. He's also stayed involved with FSU, serving on the Board of Trustees since 2003.
"It's hard to believe anyone could be more deserving than Derrick,'' said Mickey Andrews, the recently retired longtime FSU defensive coordinator who recruited Brooks out of Pensacola.
"Not only was he an unbelievable football player, but he's about as classy a guy and about as fine a person as you'd ever want to be around. What a role model he's been through the years,'' Andrews said. "What he's meant to the program at Florida State and to the Buccaneers has just been amazing. This world would be a better world if it had more Derrick Brookses in it.''