Friday, June 25, 2010

No More #10

Florida State is retiring my former teammate Derrick Brooks' number and I can't think of anyone any more deserving of that honor in what they have done both on the field and off it.

Brook’s 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, the 2003 Bart Starr Award, and the 2004 Bryon "Whizzer" White Award. All go to a player based on his community involvement. 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.

Congratulations to Bo and his family.

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