When Keith Patterson came visiting from Utah State to take the defensive coordinator place at Texas Tech, Jordyn Brooks was the primary participant that he talked to.
Rumors had been swirling that Brooks would possibly depart Texas Tech, and their dialog become a heart-to-heart. Patterson ended up asking Brooks what he hoped to develop into.
Brooks shrugged his shoulders and responded “All-Large 12.” Patterson instantly knew that objective was too modest.
“I mentioned, ‘What about All-Large 12? What about All-American? What in regards to the Butkus Award? What about strolling throughout that stage on the primary day (of the NFL Draft),’” Patterson recalled to Purple Raider Nation.
Patterson oversaw the protection as Brooks made 108 tackles in 2019, 20 of which had been for a loss. The nationwide consideration for Brooks rolled in after he posted 19 tackles, three sacks and a pressured fumble in Texas Tech’s upset of No. 21 Oklahoma State on October 5.
After the season, Brooks was named an All-Large 12 First Crew and All-American Second Crew choice.
On April 23, the Seattle Seahawks chosen Brooks with the 27th decide of the primary spherical of the NFL Draft. Brooks had formally completed three of these 4 lofty targets, and maybe might’ve made it a clear sweep and gained the Butkus Award if he hadn’t battled accidents on the finish of the season.
Draft evening was the fruits of Brooks’ excellent season. He’d formally gotten affirmation that he was ok to play soccer on the world’s highest degree, and locked in a rookie contract that may pay him as much as $12.2 million.
“It was surreal for each of us,” Patterson mentioned. “The whole lot that we each verbalized and the whole lot that he might develop into, turned a actuality… I couldn’t even fall asleep. I felt like I obtained drafted.”
Patterson recollects Brooks coming into his workplace after the season, in disbelief that his new coach had foreseen his breakout season.
“All I did was simply see one thing in Jordyn that possibly he didn’t see in himself,” Patterson mentioned.
Come draft season, NFL groups obtained in contact with Patterson to study Brooks from his coach’s perspective. Whereas Patterson had optimistic conversations with coaches and executives from a number of groups, he didn’t see the Seahawks’ first spherical number of Brooks coming. In actual fact, he wasn’t watching the draft when the decide was introduced and came upon about it from his spouse’s screaming on the tv. Brooks known as Patterson shortly afterwards.
“It was very transferring,” Patterson mentioned. “You might hear the joy in his voice.”
A part of the explanation why Brooks’ particular evening elicited such an emotional response from Patterson is due to the appreciation he has for Brooks as an individual.
Brooks is at all times attempting to make himself higher, and through the season he obtained his examine corridor work out of the best way by Tuesday so he would have time for additional conferences with Patterson later within the week. Over time, linebackers Riko Jeffers and Xavier Benson adopted Brooks’ lead and got here to see Patterson for “conferences earlier than the assembly.”
Brooks remained humble whereas having fun with the success of his senior season. After the primary recreation of the 12 months, Patterson requested him to critique his personal play and write up a self-evaluation. Following a recreation by which he recorded 11 tackles as Texas Tech blew out Montana State, Brooks got here again to Patterson with 4 paragraphs of principally criticism.
“If you happen to learn the outline of his personal efficiency, you’ll’ve thought that he didn’t play nicely,” Patterson mentioned. “He had a humbleness about him that allowed him to realize greatness.”
That humility ought to turn out to be useful at Brooks’ subsequent cease, the place he’ll arrive because the clear-cut No. 2 center linebacker. The Seahawks have six-time Professional Bowler Bobby Wagner on the place, who’s established himself as maybe the very best center linebacker in soccer.
Patterson views the scenario as a optimistic. Brooks will nonetheless see loads of the sphere, and Wagner’s protection expertise permit Seattle to deploy Brooks the place he excels most, at or behind the road of scrimmage.
Furthermore, Brooks will get the possibility to study from one of many recreation’s greatest, on and off the field. When the 29-year-old Wagner retires or strikes on to a different staff, Brooks could also be in place to take over.
“What an amazing match,” Patterson mentioned in entrance of a Jordyn Brooks-themed Zoom background. “He’s gonna have the ability to sit there and mannequin his preparation and his strategy to the sport after (Wagner.)”
Sixteen months after that dialog in Patterson’s workplace, Brooks has quite a few accolades below his belt and rather more cash in his checking account. In his senior season, he’d completed rather more than making the All-Large 12 Crew.