Brooks: 'We're ready'

When you think of leaders on the Wildcat football team, Darrell Brooks immediately comes to mind. Since he was a freshman, the safety has been a guy who has led the team and represented the team to the media. We spoke with Brooks for a few minutes as the team reported on Sunday.

You are on all of those billboards around town. How was that experience?

"It was fun. They had us doing all of these poses. It's kind of hard holding that demeanor when you have me and Mike in there making fun of everyone. It was a good experience."

Have your buddies given you a hard time?

"Not too bad, not too bad. I get a few comments here and there, but it's all in good fun."

What's the attitude of this team like?

"We've been here all summer. We've been out here working extremely hard, shedding blood with each other. Guys are just ready to get started. There's only so much you can do and we put in a lot of work and effort over the summer. Guys are really amped to get thins started and get going."

What's it like having an ‘old man' like Brandon Phillips around here? "'B-Phil' has been here for years. He has experience and that leadership quality that you look for. Just with ‘B Phil's' size and the way he plays, he is somebody you respect and look forward to playing with."

You missed some time during the spring, how's your health?

"Everything is going well. I went out and got my rehab. Everything is looking nice right now."

What are the expectations of the team going into fall practice?

"I'm excited. It's been a long time coming with all of the practicing and all the waiting and hard work. We're ready to get out here and get playing."

Is there a different feel this year since everyone was here over the summer?

"All of us feel tighter. We're extremely close. All of us have been out here working together. Guys are just amped and ready to get out here."

Where do you put yourself after the summer? Are you better and how good do you have to be to stay on the field.

"I always feel that I need to improve that much more every year. On a personal level I just hold myself to a greater accountability because I have been here and I have experience. I know a lot of guys expect me to lead them. I'm just looking to improve everyday I can, come out here work hard, listen to what the coaches have to say and just try to build on what we have done the past couple of months."

Depth charts don't mean much this time of year but your name second on the list. Is that motivation?

"Most definitely, but you have to know that the guys in the team, especially in the secondary, we're real tight. We're in there working together. As one of us improves, so does the other. Tony (Wingate) and myself, were always there together and we push each other."

A lot of people are worried about your corners. The unit had troubles last year and are more inexperienced this season. Are they a cause for concern?

"We've got a lot of talented guys out there. Now we have an exceptional coaching staff that is going to be able to develop these guys. We have the talent and the players that can go out and make big plays, now we just have to go out there and do it."

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