Monday, April 26, 2004

Special teams contributor right off bat

CB Greg Brooks

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Bengals used the knowledge gleaned at the Senior Bowl in the NFL Draft again on Sunday.

It left defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle a happy man, and Greg Brooks a Bengals sixth-round draft pick.

Greg Brooks, CB, Southern Mississippi
Height/Weight: 5-10, 179
DOB: Dec. 16, 1980
College: Southern Mississippi
2003 stats: 11 games started, 29 tackles, 12 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles caused.
2004 projection: Adds depth at cornerback, could contribute on special teams.
Personal: Resident of Harvey, La.; attended Archbishop Shaw High in Marrero, La.; sports administration major; transferred from University of Michigan freshman year.
The Southern Mississippi senior cornerback was the third defensive back taken by Cincinnati that played for the South team in January's all-star game. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and his staff coached the North squad.

"(Brooks) is another guy that we got to see at the Senior Bowl, and he was impressive in those drills," Coyle said.

"He's a bright guy that I think will add to that mix. I also think he's a guy that can contribute to special teams and compete with the guys we currently have."

The Bengals, who in Saturday's second round selected Florida cornerback Keiwan Ratliff and Maryland free safety Madieu Williams, took Brooks with the 18th pick of the sixth round (183rd overall).

Brooks has an established tie to the Bengals.

Starting cornerback Tory James attended the same Marrero, La., high school (Archbishop Shaw) as Brooks.

James is seven years older than the 23-year-old Brooks.

"I'm quite sure he'll lead me in the right direction," Brooks said. "

"That's what I'm thinking he'll do, show me the ropes and lead me so I can be successful on this level."

A transfer from Michigan, Brooks was a first-team Conference USA player last season.

He led the Golden Eagles, and ranked second in the conference, with 12 pass deflections.

"He's an excellent cover guy, a guy that can get up on receivers whether they're bigger receivers," Coyle said. "He can get in your hip pocket and mirror you down the field. He made plays on the ball as well."

In 46 games at Southern Mississippi from 2000-2003, including 36 starts, Brooks had 125 total tackles to go with nine career interceptions and a school record 47 passes defended.

"We're excited about being able to add another corner to the pool of players that we currently have," Coyle said. "It's kind of been fun for me the last couple of days."



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