Guys to Watch on Sunday: Durant Brooks

We’re all excited to see the big-name guys as soon as possible, but I wouldn’t expect too much time for Jason Campbell, Jason Taylor, Clinton Portis, or Santana Moss this weekend. So I tried to get at least a minute or two in with a bunch of the guys who likely WILL be on the field.

Durant Brooks has a shocking number of fans. Of all the people I expected to get mail about, the rookie punter honestly wasn’t high up on the list. So you can imagine how I felt when one email even suggested that there was a full-blown movement behind Brooks. Fortunately, he was just as surprised.

I got an email saying that there’s quite a movement starting for you.

I have fans? I have not been aware – I’ve heard a few people cheer back in open practice, some people knew my first name. But as far as a movement? Not a word.

So you’re not planning some sort of armed insurrection?

No, no.

You played basketball in high school, right? Why’d that stop?

My size – I heard I could’ve played basketball at a small college. I loved basketball growing up, my dad played it, but football and punting, I figured I could go a lot further in that with my skillset.

And then you were a wide receiver, tight end, and safety on your high school team?

Yeah. I punted throughout high school as just kind of a sidejob, until my senior year when I started taking this seriously. We had a pretty good team, and I only punted 12 or 13 times senior year total.

You were mentored by punting great Ray Guy?

That was the most fortunate start I could get as a punter. that’s when I started taking this seriously. End of my junior year, I got introduced to him, went to one of his camps that summer. He’s from the same town where my mom lives, so that’s how that got started. He said come to my camp, he really got me focused on punting.

Was it from there to the ACC?

No, I went to Georgia Military briefly. I came from a small private school, didn’t take P seriously until senior yr, didn’t get a lot of exposure, and Georgia Military was right near where I lived. So I figured I go there and refine everything, try to make it to Division I. Fortunately, I did. It took me two years and I got to Tech.

Someone called you the best player on the Georgia Tech team.

(Laughs, looks awkward.) A scout here, he was scouting me, came to a couple of events, said that Coach Tenuta, our defensive coordinator at Tech, said that about me. And that’s all fun for him saying that, I appreciate it, but … I took pride in being a punter, and I think I really helped out his defense, helped set the defense up, get the offense out of trouble.

Will we see you on Sunday?

Hopefully, yeah. We decided we’re definitely alternating. Hopefully I’ll get a lot so I can a lot of exposure.

How have you felt about camp life? Has it been what you expected?

I’ve heard all the stories how hard training camp is, how long it’s going to be, and it’s lived up to expectations. I did realize how long the season is going to be, because we’ve got our first of FIVE preseason games coming up, and then you’ve got the season. I can see how it’s a long grind especially for a rookie, because I’m used to taking the winter off, and instead we had the combine and stuff … it’s going to be a grind.


2 Responses

  1. Excellent. The movement has begun!

    Durant will kick the shit out of the competition

  2. […] Derrick Frost Posted on August 6, 2008 by Matt Terl So I’ve spoken to rookie punter Durant Brooks, special teams coach Danny Smith, and yesterday I talked to Shaun Suisham. But I hadn’t had a […]

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