CHERUBINI CHIMES IN
One-on-One with the
August 11, 2010
By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.
Mobile Alpha version of this page.
It is fitting that Michael Brooks goes into this, his senior season, as an
all-league candidate and likely NFL draft pick in 2013. Brooks splashed onto
the scene earning playing time as a true freshman in 2009.
That Brooks was able to garner actual playing time on a defensive line that
produced three NFL players and two Super Bowl Champions is astounding. That
he was able to garner Conference USA All-Freshman honors that year only
underscores that among the likes of Linval Joseph, Jay Ross, and C.J.
Wilson, he made enough plays to be noticed and recognized for his talents.
Fast forward to his final season and Brooks is a big-time veteran on the
defensive line, serving as the heart of it at nose guard. He is widely
regarded among the top tier at his position nationally and, in the league,
is a player that opposing teams game-plan. He is as healthy as he has ever
been and appears to be finishing his career at East Carolina just as he came
into the league as a freshman, atop the league defensively.
This season, Brooks will be asked to be a pivotal leader, a big playmaker,
and a guy who is known for making his teammates better around him. And, he
has the stuff to answer the call.
Michael was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his
insights on the upcoming season.
Michael Brooks (92) in action (ECU SID photo)
One-on-One with Michael Brooks
Q: You know, you came into the
ECU program and somehow carved out playing time
among guys like C.J. Wilson, Jay Ross, and Linval
Joseph on an outstanding championship defense.
Today, you guys as a unit seem poised to make a push
to be the best unit in the league and maybe even one
that makes noise nationally. Can you talk a bit
about that progression?
A: You know, we just got back to
working hard, just like we did on that championship
team (2009). We are all used to working together,
not just the defensive line but the whole defense.
It took a lot of work to go from worst in the
country to where we finished last year so we know
what it takes. Now we all want to do a lot better
than last year. We want to be a Top Ten defense.
Yeah, I am getting a special feeling… we are going
to be a lot better than last year.
Q: You seemingly made the switch
to the 3-4 unaffected. Do you believe that your
handle on it now versus last year is much better? Do
you expect that you will be even more productive
A: It was a hard move for me, but
I worked really with Coach (Marc) Yellock to learn
the position, the movement, and how to play it. Now,
it feels like second nature to me. I don’t really
consider it different than when we are in an even
front because I just love playing football and it
doesn’t matter whether I am at nose tackle or at
Q: Last year, you were used to
looking to your side and seeing Derrell Johnson
there. Is it different to see him back a level? Talk
a bit about the guys left and right of you and their
abilities. Matt Milner, John Lattimore, Lee Pegues,
A: Honestly, it is very weird not
seeing Derrell next to me, but the move was a good
one for him and for the team really. He is going to
be very good at linebacker. Now we are working Lee (Pegues)
at nose tackle with Terry (Williams) out and he is
doing really well there. I think (Pegues) and John
Lattimore are going to be very good players for us
this season. Same with Matt and Justin — we are good
at defensive end.
Q: You mentioned Terry Williams
not being available after he ran into some off-field
issues and with his status yet to be known. Are you
confident in the other guys you see working behind
A: Definitely comfortable. Of
course, Terry is very good, but Lee is good too and
we have other guys who are working there as well. I
am totally comfortable with the guys we got. Like
Coach said, ‘the show must go on.’
Q: What player on this team do
you most respect and why?
A: If I have to give you just one
guy, it would definitely be Jacobi Jenkins. From
when we came in to the program to now, he has worked
hard and he has become a strong leader (for) us. He
is very good in that leadership role and a good
player, too. I really respect Jacobi.
Q: It’s been no secret that the
center position has been a struggle for ECU, but now
it seems that there are a few guys over there that
can get the job done. Is that a true assumption
based on having to knock heads with them?
A: I think both those guys are
great at center (Josh Clark and Taylor Hudson). They
both can play and we can do well with either one in
the lineup. Taylor is very good there. I think we
are pretty set at center now.
Q: You played with some guys in
the NFL ... and there is some thought that you might
join them. Do you think about that stuff? Is it in
the back of your mind?
A: Of course, it is everybody’s
dream to play in the NFL. But right now, I want to
win another conference championship. I try to not to
get ahead of myself.
E-mail Ron Cherubini
Ron Cherubini Archives
08/12/2012 02:13 AM