Florida State football kicks off on Labor day at Pitt. Tomahawk Nation previews the season up until that date by analyzing every player and other key issues facing the 2013 Seminoles.
#31 Terrence Brooks | Sr. | Safety | 5-11 200
Many FSU fans can't seem to shake the image of Terrence Brooks getting burned deep on a Clemson gimmick play to DeAndre Hopkins on the opening drive of the September 2012 showdown. But rest assured Noles fans; that rough night was the exception to the rule for the first time starter in 2012.
2012 Highlights (via seminoles.com)
Started all 14 games for FSU at free safety. Top tackler in the secondary with 52 which ranked fifth on the team. One of six Seminoles who recorded an interception in 2012. Sixth on the team with four pass break-ups.
Brooks was part of an FSU safety tandem that virtually locked down opposing offenses from breaking the big passing play. As a key cog in the 2012 secondary, Brooks was part of a stout FSU pass defense that allowed a mere 161.9 yards per game, ranking 1st nationally. Brooks was rarely out of position and provided a safety net over the top that allowed FSU cornerbacks to be aggressive in press coverage. Quite possibly the most underrated aspect of his game was his sure tackling and big hit ability. Brooks coverage and tackling ability helped limit the game changing plays that have plagued the FSU defense in the past.
Brooks has the physical traits and mental aptitude to excel in Jeremy Pruitt's new scheme. He brings the versatility that excels in a scheme that puts a premium on the ability to play multiple positions in the secondary.
With the new attacking style of defense that will feature exotic coverages and blitzes designed to bait the quarterback into bad decisions and errant throws, look for Brooks to improve on his single interception from 2012. Brooks will not only be asked to roam the deep half for FSU this year, he will be asked to play in the box to provide run support and timely blitzing.
In order to make the jump from very good to elite, Brooks will need to improve his ball skills, too many times in 2012 Brooks was in position to make an impact play (UF game) and just couldn't seem to come up with the turnover. Brooks figures to have plenty of opportunity to improve is "catch rate" this year, don't be surprised if you see him have a game changing type impact in the Noles secondary.
Currently CBSSports has Terrence slated as the 5th best safety and 4-5th round pick in the 2014 draft. Brooks could climb up draft boards with a big year as more NFL personnel see him in action. Personally, I think he projects as a corner at the next level.