Special to the Journal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — His role has changed but with less than two weeks remaining until the first game of his junior year, Terrence Brooks’ mentality has remained steadfast.
“Wherever they put me on the field I am ready to go,” Brooks said. “I just want to help this team. That’s all I’ve ever cared about.”
That attitude and his natural athletic ability helped Brooks earn early special-teams playing time as a true freshman. His sophomore season saw him play in a utility role as an extra defensive back in the team’s dime packages.
He has since been moved to safety to ease the losses of Terrance Parks and Nick Moody at the position — a new task that will see Brooks start the first game of his career Sept. 1 when Murray State comes to town.
“It’s definitely been a learning process,” said Brooks, who has played in 22 games the past two seasons. “Every year I try to get better each and every day. It’s been good so far.”
Head coach Jimbo Fisher agrees.
Even though Brooks has been in a non-contact jersey throughout camp and has had to battle a steep learning curve, the former two-way high school star’s versatility and coverage skills have been a welcome addition to a defense that is best known for its ability to stuff the run and rush the passer up front.
“He’s doing some good things,” Fisher said. “He’s a cover guy, he’s making some plays, and he’s learning to be much more consistent. There’s a lot to learn at safety. You’re in the pass game, you’re in the run game, it’s a combination where your fits are and where your help [is] and [who] you’re helping.
“Safety can be a very complicated situation but he’s doing a nice job.”
Brooks’ addition to the back end of FSU’s defense gives the Seminoles a whole new dynamic, one based upon speed, athleticism and sideline-to-sideline coverage ability.
Along with Lamarcus Joyner, who is a former FSU cornerback as well, FSU boasts starting safeties with the ability to not only control the the deep portion of the field but also drop down to the line of scrimmage and defend slot receivers.
“There’s a lot of speed on the field,” said Brooks, who had a game-sealing interception in FSU’s bowl victory over Notre Dame last year. “I don’t really see a lot of teams being able to throw deep balls on us this year. We are very fast all around and all those guys are versatile. Whenever someone goes down you can pretty much plug in the next guy and not miss a beat because we’ve all played in different spots in the secondary.”
‘NOLES — AND SEMINOLES.COM — GETTING CLOSER TO GAME WEEK
Fall camp is quickly coming to an end for Florida State as the Seminoles are slated (as of Aug. 20) to hold single practices Monday, Wednesday and Saturday with a two-a-day session scheduled for Tuesday and a scrimmage Thursday.
Stick with Seminoles.com for complete coverage the rest of fall camp and then next week leading into the game against Murray State, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. As will be the routine every week throughout the season, Seminoles.com will have video and written stories, previews, coach and player reactions and much more to get you geared up for the next ‘Noles game.
The first issue of Chop Talk (now created through iBooks specifically for iPads and iPhones) will also be available next week.