Brooks Playing With More Confidence

All Jourdan Brooks needed was a little bit of confidence. After spurts of strong play last season, the biggest step to becoming a consistent back for the Scarlet Knights was becoming more confidence. And after his performance last week, Brooks feels like he's there.

"I'm more comfortable than I was last year," Brooks said. "Last year I used to come to games nervous, but I think this year I'm more settled down and I feel better about myself. … Being more confident and more comfortable going out there, especially with the return of the offensive line, is huge for me."

In that game, Brooks ran for 124 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, something that Brooks plans to keep doing as he becomes even more confident on the field.

Brooks said that now that the confidence is there, he wants to become a leader, especially with the youngest member, De'Antwan Williams, looking up to the older guys.

"I'm definitely trying to be as vocal as I can, but of course I love having Kordell and Jack being our leaders at the same time," Brooks said. "They come in and tell us what we need to do and how we need to focus on every play.

"It's a little different not being the youngest, but I think I've learned from some of the best in Ray [Rice] and Kordell [Young] and Brian Leonard when he comes back, I talk to him a lot." Brooks has already emerged as a leader and impact player, however, in the eyes of his teammates.

"He's quick and he's fast and he has great vision and he's a load to bring down," sophomore running back Joe Martinek said of his counterpart. "It takes a couple of guys and he has the ability to move the pile." During practice Thursday, the final open practice for the Scarlet Knights before Florida International, head coach Greg Schiano said that nothing has been decided at the No. 2 cornerback spot yet, but he did pick a leader of the true freshmen corners to see playing time.

"We let Darrell [Givens] work with us a little bit," Schiano said. "That would lead you to believe that if we were going to play one it would be him because he got the work this week. I don't know if we're going to have to play him or not."

On the injury front, Kordell Young appears ready to play barring any last second changes and left guard Caleb Ruch will likely not contribute this week.

"If [Kordell] stays OK between now and then, he's going to play some," Schiano said. "Caleb, I think, is going to be out unless something really good happens."

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