The Danville community can rightfully be proud of native son Curtis Brooks who is the defensive lineman for the University of Cincinnati college football team, which is ranked #4 in the country and will go up against #1 Alabama in the 2021 college football playoff. Brooks is a powerhouse weighing in at 285 lbs. and standing 6’2” tall.
Brooks has been around since 2016. As one of the most experienced players on the roster he has turned into a leader and playmaker for one of the best defensive units in the nation. The Danville grad is having the best season of his career as a Bearcat and is on pace for career-highs in almost every category and looks to finish off his career with a few more wins on his resume.
Seeing the transformation of the program in the past five years has been a journey says Brooks. He has been here for the entire Fickell Era. “Starting the day he got here, he set the tone for how it was going to go the whole way, it worked out the way I wanted it to.”
The defense has been top notch for the past few seasons and the program is second in scoring defense, first in team passing efficiency defense, second in red zone defense, third in yards per play, and more.
This no doubt sends the confidence level of Brooks and his teammates soaring through the roof. “We're flying around at a high level, probably the highest level this year. We have a lot of great players and coaches; it has all come together perfectly,” he shares.
The team has a very strong defensive line with experienced players. All are seniors or graduate students, which plays a huge role in their being able to jell together as a cohesive unit.
“It helps a lot, being out there with Myjai (Sanders). At times, I know what he’s going to do before he does it, so I can just play off that. We’ve been together for so long that it really feels like we have perfect timing between all of us,” says Brooks.
The defense ranks in the top-20 in tackles for loss. He and Malik Vann lead the team with seven and a half tackles for loss, which also ranks top-20 in the nation.
Brooks says there is no competition among the players, merely a sense of working together as a team.
He elaborates, “Beavers actually took a couple of my sacks, so I had to let him know about that, but there’s really no competition. We are just going out there having fun, flying around. The defense that we are in allows us to get vertical and just play freely. It's fun out there.”
Even though he’s humble in many ways Brooks doesn’t mind saying that he would win any race against other defensive linemen running 100 yards. “I win the race, I’m a speedster."
Brooks names Jabari Taylor with having the best hands and making the best receiver.