In my endless pursuit of information surrounding the 2012 NFL Draft, I spoke with Miami of Ohio guard Brandon Brooks recently for my upcoming book. Brooks is an especially intriguing prospect for the Bengals because the team clearly needs to upgrade the guard position and he possesses the size and versatility that the team loves.
Brooks is 6-5, 353 pounds and has played every position on the offensive line. He also ran the 40-yard dash in under five seconds at his recent pro day and is rumored to have delivered a blocking punch that was so violent it knocked a Steelers coach onto the ground (which Bengals fans have to love).
He’d be a natural replacement for Bobbie Williams (who has similar measurements at 6-4, 345 pounds) and he might be available in Round Two or beyond. Plus, he’s a high-character guy, who lists reading as hobby, has already graduated from college, and holds aspirations of teaching when his football career ends.
Clearly, there’s a lot to like. Here’s a quick snapshot of Brooks and a few quotes from my interview.
College: Miami of Ohio
Size: 6-5, 353 pounds
Numbers: Sub 5 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 32-inch vertical leap; 36 reps of 225 pounds.
The Bengals could use some guards. Have you thought about playing for them?
I think Ohio is a great place. Going to Oxford, Cincinnati is right down the street. I have a lot of family and friends in Cincinnati. It’d be a smooth transition.
Do you have any hobbies outside of football?
I’ve always read books for class and enjoyment. I like to break a mental sweat as well as a physical sweat. Reading everything is kind of my forte. (He has an online bachelors degree in psychology).
I heard you’d like to be a teacher when your football career ends.
I always wanted to give back to the community, so I was planning on something either in law enforcement or teaching. I thought, ‘Do I want to be someone that puts somebody away or do I want to be someone who can keep them from getting their in first place?’