Brooks was a two-time consensus All-American at outside linebacker for the Seminoles where his blend of speed and athleticism set a new standard for the position. He starred at FSU from 1991-94 leading FSU to its first national title as a junior and earning first team All-ACC honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. He was named the ACC Player of the Year in 1994 and was a finalist for the Butkus, Lombardi and Football Writer's Defensive Player of the Year Award in both 1993 and 1994.
Brooks was just as highly regarded off the field earning first team Academic All-America honors in 1994 and winning an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. In addition, he was committed to public service causes throughout his Seminole career.
Brooks carried his excellence both on the field and as a citizen into his likely Hall of Fame career as the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers' all-time leading tackler. He was voted to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls (11 total) and at the time of his retirement had made an NFL-leading 200 consecutive starts. He led his beloved Tampa Bay team to the Super Bowl Championship in 2002.
As a professional, Brooks has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, the 2003 Bart Starr Award, and the 2004 Bryon "Whizzer" White Award, and the 2008 JB Award through the NFL Players association, all of which recognize an NFL player annually for their commitment to the communities in which they live.
FSU, which began retiring jersey's rather than taking numbers out of circulation in the mid 1990s, will honor him on November 13th. He will join Fred Biletnikoff (WR, 1962-64), Ron Sellers (WR, 1966-68), Ron Simmons (NG, 1977-80), Deion Sanders (CB, 1985-88), Charlie Ward (QB, 1989-93), Warrick Dunn (RB, 1993-96) and Chris Weinke (QB, 1997-2000) as the only FSU football players to have their number/jersey retired.