The Steelers selected their second player of the draft from the University of Maryland when they drafted safety Antoine Brooks Jr. in the sixth round with the 198th pick overall. Brooks joins teammate Anthony McFarland, selected in the fourth round, as the second Maryland player taken today.
"Me and him are going to ball out until we can't anymore," said Brooks of playing with McFarland again. "Me and him in the same locker room being reunited. It's the next level."
Brooks, who was voted MVP for the Terrapins last season, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection (coaches) and third-team All-Big Ten selection (media).
"He is a really good physical player," said Teryl Austin, senior defensive assistant/secondary. "He plays a little of everywhere, and he was around the ball. Wherever the ball is, he is going to show up. He has a really good feel for the game in terms of instincts and not being afraid to make a decision."
Brooks finished the season as the Terps leading tackler with 87 stops, including 69 solo stops, also had eight and a half tackles for a loss and five pass defenses.
"I take tackling very seriously," said Brooks. "That is the impact of football. I think football is tackling. It's running the ball and tackling. That is how you have fun in football. I can never lose the one-on-one battles. I won't. I would be terribly upset if I did lose that battle. I am passionate about tackling and getting the ball back and stuff like that.
"I just want to play football to the best of my ability. I am an aggressive tackler, aggressive player. I did a lot of blitzing. A lot of moving around when I was at Maryland."
Brooks considered quitting football while at Duval High in Lanham, Maryland when his senior season he suffered a compound fracture of his ankle and a wrist injury in a game against rival Wise High.
"I was pretty close to quitting," said Brooks. "I was in the hospital for a week. I was sitting there thinking what should I do? My outcome was I should keep playing. I didn't want to be the person who almost made it or could have made it. Now I am proud because I am where I am now."
Antoine Brooks Jr.
DuVal High School
BROOKS' HONOR ROLL
- 2019 Second Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Third Team All-Big Ten (Media)
- 2019 Team Most Valuable Player
- 2019 Second Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
- 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
- 2019 Bednarik Award Watch List
- 2019 Preseason Phil Steele Second Team All-Big Ten
- 2019 Preseason Athlon Sports Second Team All-Big Ten
- 2018 Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches)
- 2018 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (media)
- 2018 Third Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
- Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week (September 3, 2018)
- 2018 Athlon Sports Preseason All-Big Ten
- 2017 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten
- 2017 Second Team All-ECAC
- Big Ten Co-Special Teams Player of the Week (September 4, 2017)
As a Senior (2019): Second Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Third Team All-Big Ten (Media) ... Led Big Ten and was ninth in country, averaging 5.8 solo tackles per game ... Finished season leading the Terps with 87 tackles and 69 solo tackles, stood second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and tied for team lead with five pass breakups ... In final game as a Terp at Michigan State (11/30), recorded 11 tackles (four solo) and half a tackle for loss ... Tallied nine tackles on senior day vs. Nebraska (11/23) including six solo and one for loss ... Topped team with 10 tackles (seven solo) at #1 Ohio State (11/9) ... Tied career-best with two tackles for loss vs. #14 Michigan (11/2) while tallying five more solo tackles ... Picked off Indiana (10/19) in the end zone during the second quarter for first interception of the season, while talliyng career-high with two tackles for loss ... Recorded third tackle for loss of year for six yards at Rutgers (10/5) ... Tallied six tackles to lead team including tying a career-best with two for loss vs. #12 Penn State (9/27) ... Tallied a career-best, game-high 13 tackles and recorded first career fumble recovery at Temple (9/14) ... Led the team with nine tackles, tallying a career-high eight solo tackles in win vs. #21 Syracuse (9/7).
As a Junior (2018): Second Team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches ... Led Maryland with 9.5 tackles for loss ... Started all 12 games, ranking third on the team with 68 tackles (46 solo) ... Also tallied 2.5 sacks, one interception and three pass breakups ... Had six tackles in each of the last two games of the season against Penn State (11/24) and Ohio State (11/17) ... Posted five tackles, including a sack at Indiana (11/10) ... Led team with seven tackles and tied a career-best with two TFLs against Illinois (10/27) ... Had four tackles, including a TFL, vs. Rutgers (10/13) ... Had six tackles, including a TFL, and a PBU at #15 Michigan (10/6) ... Notched six tackles and a sack vs. Minnesota (9/22) ... Posted five tackles, including a TFL, vs. Temple (9/15) ... Had four tackles, including 1.5 TFL, at Bowling Green (9/8) ... Led team with 11 tackles, including a TFL, and made the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter against #23 Texas (9/1).
Take a look at photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 6th round pick, S, Antoine Brooks Jr.
As a Sophomore (2017): Had a breakout season, appearing in 12 games and making 11 starts primarily at nickelback ... Led Big Ten Conference in tackles for loss (9.5) by a defensive back in regular season ... Also led the team in solo tackles (53), while ranking second in total tackles (77) and t-second in interceptions (2) ... Totaled six tackles, including first career sack, vs. #12 Penn State (11/25) ... Posted seven tackles at #22 Michigan State (11/18) ... Had seven tackles, including a TFL, vs. #21 Michigan (11/11) ... Posted four tackles and had an interception at Rutgers (11/4) ... Totaled seven tackles against Indiana (10/28) ... Tied for team lead with 10 tackles, including career-high 2.0 TFL, at #5 Wisconsin (10/21) ... Led team with nine tackles, including 1.0 TFL, vs. Northwestern (10/14) ... Had a career-high 13 tackles, including 1.0 TFL, at #10 Ohio State (10/7) ... Totaled three tackles, including 1.0 TFL, and had a FF at Minnesota (9/30) ... Had five tackles against UCF (9/23), including 1.0 TFL ... Caught first career INT and totaled two tackles vs. Towson (9/9) ... Made first career start at #23 Texas (9/2), making four tackles and returning a blocked field goal 71 yards for a touchdown ... Transitioned from linebacker to defensive back in offseason.
As a Freshman (2016): Appeared in six games, primarily on special teams ... Made collegiate debut vs. Howard (9/3), making two tackles.
At DuVal High School: Excelled at both quarterback and defensive back...Prince George's 4A Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 despite playing in just six games...earned First Team All-Met honors as a junior and Second Team All-Met honors during his senior year...averaged more than 182 rushing yards per game in 2015...coached by Dameon Powell.
Personal: Son of Antoine Brooks Sr. and Keisha Staples ... lists sports hero as Sean Taylor ... major is undeclared.