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Derrick Brooks

Inducted 2015

Derrick Brooks is a name that football fans in the state of Florida are very familiar with. It's a name that resonates with success. Starting his journey on the football fields in Pensacola, Brooks is now immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as one of the best linebackers to ever play the sport.

Growing up in the Panhandle, Brooks attended Washington High School in Pensacola. Named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 was just one of the many accolades that he would collect during his prep career. A host of publications selected him as an All-American during his senior season. It was a season in which he also was honored as the national Dial Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Choosing to stay close to home, Brooks would go on to play collegiately for Florida State University. The awards kept rolling in for the star linebacker. A three-time First Team All-ACC linebacker, two-time All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year (1993), Brooks helped lead the Seminoles to their first national championship in 1993. But his journey would not end there.

After graduating from FSU in 1995, Brooks was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft with the 28th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brooks would spend his entire 14-year career with the Bucs, becoming what many fans believe was one of the best players in franchise history. Bringing home the franchise’s only Super Bowl trophy in 2002, being a six-time first-team All-Pro, an 11-time Pro Bowler, a recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2003) and the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year Award winner (2002) were just a few of the honors that Brooks added to the laundry list of achievements he earned during his pro career. It was a career that culminated in Brooks being selected to the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class.

As an advocate for education, he is a cofounder of Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa. In 2011, he headed back to the gridiron in a different capacity; this time as part owner and team president for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. In 2014, Brooks began serving as an appeals officer for the NFL and NFL Players Association.