Derrick Brooks was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. He grew up with many challenges, yet reached past all of his struggles and became a first- round NFL draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995. This began his 14-year, hall of fame career.
In his career, he pushed himself. He recorded 2,198 tackles which is the most in franchise history. He often proved that defense can turn the tide of a game by scoring 8 defensive touchdowns, the second most in Buccaneers history. Fourteen seasons, 25 interceptions, 6 All-Pro selections and 11 Pro Bowls earned him induction into the Capitol One Academic All America Hall of Fame in August 2014.
Prior to playing for the Buccaneers, Derrick attended Florida State University where he excelled, not only as an athlete, but most importantly as a student. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and after being drafted by the Buccaneers, went back to FSU and earned his Master’s Degree in Business Communications. Derrick’s passion for education and inspiring young people, led him to begin his charitable work in the community.
As driven as Derrick Brooks was to build his career, he poured himself into his family and community. Legacy is at the heart of his drive. First and foremost, the glory for the greatness he has achieved he turns over to God. Following that, he recognizes that life itself is a team game, perhaps the ultimate team game. And this is why his community efforts are so imperative to him.
This is why a simple conversation with a young girl has turned into the array of programs that Derrick Brooks Charities focuses on today. He has learned through a life a hard knocks and knocking hard back, that mental fortitude is critical to the game and it doesn’t happen by chance. It is the culmination of training, diligence and vision.
“Character, teamwork, hard work, perseverance, greatness, success, failures, motivation, humility. Those are the things that this game has really taught me.”
And that is exactly what he attempts to pass on to others through his legacy and his charities.
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