Brookins played through one of the lower spots in the history of the Bearcats program. In his years with the program (he won letters in 78, 79 and 81) UC won 13 games and lost 19 against the brutal schedule of an independent. Brookins was recruited by Ralph Staub The list of opponents from those years reads like a hit list. North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Florida State, West Virginia, Penn State and on.
The success for the team might not have been there, but Brookins excelled as a linebacker in a run heavy era of Football. In that era tackles for linebackers were as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach. That is an exaggeration of sorts, but only slightly, OK massively. Still in 1979 Brookins collected an ungodly 186 tackles. In an 11 game season that works out to (basically) 17 tackles per game. That 1979 season still is the record. Brookins left UC in second place on the all time tackle list for the Bearcats behind his teammate Karl Woods, he is now fourth.