Florida State University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Derrick Brooks with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place Oct. 29 in Tallahassee, Fla., during the Seminoles' game against Clemson. Coverage of the game will start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
"I smiled [upon hearing of my election]," Brooks said at the press conference announcing the class in January. "And, obviously, I'm humbled at the accomplishments when I think about all the other men who have had the opportunity to share this experience and now go in this elite class and recognizing your collegiate career is really special. So my initial response is one of gratitude and, as always, thank God that He allowed me to experience another opportunity to share His goodness in my football career."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
"Derrick Brooks was a dominant force at Florida State, both on and off the field," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "He led the Seminoles to their first-ever national championship while also receiving NFF National Scholar-Athlete status. We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Florida State faithful at Doak Campbell Stadium."
A two-time unanimous First Team All-American (1993 and 1994), Brooks led Florida State to its first-ever national championship in 1993. The 1994 ACC Player of the Year guided Florida State to victories in four consecutive bowl games, including the 18-16 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl for the national title. The three-time First Team All-ACC selection led the Seminoles to three-straight ACC titles and a 44-5-1 record, and the team never finished with a final ranking lower than fourth during his career. A team captain his senior season, Brooks was a finalist for the Butkus, Rotary Lombardi and FWAA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1993 and 1994 while playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden.
The standout four-year letterman finished his career with 274 tackles, 8.5 sacks and five interceptions, and he was named MVP of the Senior Bowl. Brooks was just as stellar off the field as a 1994 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-American. A teammate of Hall of Fame quarterback Charlie Ward, he was also a three-time Academic All-ACC honoree and a recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Brooks' No. 10 jersey is retired at Florida State, and he is a member of both the Seminoles' and CoSIDA Academic All-America halls of fame.
Drafted in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brooks spent his entire 14-year career with the franchise. The 11-time Pro Bowl selection never missed a game during his pro career and led the Bucs to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. A 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, he had his number retired by Tampa Bay and is a member of the team's ring of honor.
Brooks continued to impress during and after his pro career, earning his master's degree in business communications in 1999. His numerous community initiatives have included establishing Brooks Bunch, founding Derrick Brooks Charities, and establishing Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High, a nonprofit public charter school. He was named the 2000 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year and the 2014 Boys and Girls Club Community Champion.
Appointed by the Governor of Florida to serve as chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Education, Brooks also served on the FSU Board of Trustees from 2003-11. He currently serves as co-owner and president of the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League and as an appeals officer for the NFL and NFLPA.
Brooks becomes the sixth Seminole to be inducted, joining Fred Biletnikoff (1962-64), Deion Sanders (1985-88), Ron Sellers (1966-68), Ron Simmons (1977-80) and Charlie Ward (1989, 1991-93). Two coaches with stops in Tallahassee are in the Hall: Bobby Bowden (1976-2009) and Darrell Mudra (1974-75).
Including the 2016 class, only 977 players and 211 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.19 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 147 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.
The 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis(Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley(Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue)and coaches Bill Bowes(New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]).
The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31, and they will take part in a series of events at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta where their accomplishments will be forever immortalized.