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Season in Review: Curtis Brooks

Brooks was one of the top reserves on the defensive line and has built up experience as he gets ready for next year.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 23 total tackles
  • 15 assists tackles
  • 8 solo tackles

Depth was an important key for the Cincinnati Bearcats this season, especially on the defensive line, which was easily the best positional group on the team. While guys like Cortez Broughton and Marquise Copeland racked up stats and captured headlines, they didn’t play every single snap. That’s where guys like Curtis Brooks made their impact.

In his sophomore season, Brooks once again played more than you might realize. He appeared in 12 games this year, including the Military Bowl victory against Virginia Tech. His only missed contest was at SMU at the end of October. Brooks has now played in 24 games during his first two seasons, as he contributed in 12 games as a freshman in addition to this year’s dozen contests.

Now, while he is getting chances to be more than just an understudy, he didn’t get a ton of playing time and that’s why his numbers look pretty meager. With 23 total tackles, he ranked 16th on the team and his eight solo stops tied for 15th. The 6’2”, 290-pound defensive tackle didn’t provide much on the pass rush either, as he did not record a sack or a tackle for loss. Again, these numbers require a healthy serving of salt since Brooks was rarely in for sutained stretches.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 23 vs. East Carolina

In November, Brooks began a pretty solid stretch to end the season. Against the Pirates, he tallied a career-high five total tackles, with two of those by way of solo efforts. Including that performance, he had at least three tackles in each of the final three games of the year. He accomplished that just once in his nine previous appearances.

For Next Year

After serving as a reserve the last two years, Brooks is likely going to have an expanded role as a junior. To really capitalize, he’ll need to improve as a pass rusher and on making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Luckily for the Bearcats, he won’t be completely green since he has already accumulated plenty of game experience and learned from players who have had success.