Last October, Brooks said that he had been recruited by several NAIA schools out of high school and was leaning toward attending Division III Berry College.
“A lot of stuff was just, ‘You’re going to have to walk on if you want to play football,’” Brooks said.
His father, who was a walk-on at Auburn, encouraged him to try playing at Tech.
“He was like, ‘If you want to play and show the coaches that you’re able to play with those (scholarship) guys, you’ve got to practice harder than those guys,’” Brooks said. “‘You can’t be slacking. You’ve got to find ways to put yourself in front of the coaches’ eyes.‘”
He made an impression on Collins and his staff last spring with his effort, which led to a spot in the rotation last season. His 27 tackles were second most among defensive linemen. He was one of a number of walk-ons, including center William Lay, wide receiver Josh Blancato and tight end Dylan Leonard, to earn playing time last season.