Brooks Just Happy For A Chance To Play

Junior safety Nick Brooks is one of several reclamation projects for the Gator coaching staff this year. Lost in the shuffle for three years, the 6-0, 197-pound junior from Warner Robins, Georgia is finally getting a chance to show he has what it takes on the playing field. He's the first to tell you whatever success he is achieving is because of a change in the coaching staff.

The Florida secondary has played at a new level through two games of the 2005 season. With players like Brooks adding depth and talent to the unit, the secondary is always fresh and never too tired, something that hurt them in the past. After three years of being buried on the depth chart, Brooks is just happy for the chance to be a contributor.

"It just gave me great confidence coming in with the new staff," Brooks said. "I had to make a change somehow and so I did to get noticed. I moved back to safety so I knew I would have the opportunity to show what I can do."

Improvement is seen everywhere for the Gators --- in the secondary, the defensive line, the way the defense swarms to the ball and especially in team attitude. The Gators are looking to gain back some of what they lost in recent years. The Gators want to return to the elite of college football.

"We talk about that," he said. "We have been talking about that since the beginning of the season. We want to get the swagger back. We want everybody to fear The Swamp. It is real important getting that back and having confidence when teams come in they can't win in The Swamp."

With the Tennessee Volunteers coming to town on Saturday, the Gators want to keep the good times rolling in Gainesville. Brooks doesn't want to over emphasize the importance of this game. It's a season long fight for the Gators.

"I don't think it is a statement game," he said. "We've been trying to make a statement since the season started that we are a great defense."

Brooks and the Florida defense have played at a very high level so far this season. The stakes get a little higher with their first SEC contest and against a top five ranked opponent this week. Nick Brooks and the Florida secondary look to be up to the task.

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