Before Combine: Hgt: 6000, Wgt: 205, 40YD: 4.83-4.92-5.12
Durant Brooks/Georgia Tech football Videos
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This time, the Ray Guy Award voters got it right, as Brooks was the recipient of the 2007 award after finishing as a finalist in 2006. It was appropriate that he was named to the award, as many in the industry feel that he is the finest punter to play at the collegiate level since Ray Guy himself. Ironically, Guy has been a family friend and Brooks' mentor.
Along with kicker Travis Bell, Brooks gave the Yellow Jackets the best kicking tandem in the ountry. Boasting a 40.66-yard net average, the Tech punter ranked fourth in the nation with a 45.52-yard gross punting average in 2006, As a senior, he finished fifth nationally with a 45.06-yard average and a 40.58-yard net average.
Brooks' career average of 45.31 yards per punt attempt set an Atlantic Coast Conference all-time record and is the fourth-highest average in NCAA annals. His 57 punts for 50 yards or longer over his last two seasons set another NCAA mark. No punter in college football has been able to amass a net-yard average that the Tech athlete accomplished (43.4 avg).
Little was known about Brooks before he arrived at Georgia Tech as a transfer in 2005. He lettered three years for head coach Barney Hester at Tattnall Square Academy, where he helped lead the team to the 2001 GISA state title. He was also a basketball standout, averaging 18 points per game and setting the school record for career three-pointers.
After graduation, Brooks enrolled at Georgia Military College, spending two years punting for head coach Bert Williams. He averaged nearly 40 yards per punt over his two seasons. In 2005, he joined the Tech program, sitting out the season while performing on the scout team.
Brooks wasted no time garnering national media attention for his towering punts at Tech in 2006. He earned All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, in addition to being a finalist for the Ray Guy Award. He punted 79 times for 3,596 yards (45.52 avg) with 35 attempts that were downed inside the 20-yard line. He had 33 kicks returned, but the opposition managed just 164 yards, with no return longer than 18 yards, as he posted a 40.66-yard net average. He also had 27 of his punts go for 50 yards or longer.
As a senior, Brooks captured All-American and All-ACC first-team accolades, to go along with winning the Ray Guy Award. He amassed 2,929 yards on 65 attempts (45.06 avg), placing 33 inside the 20-yard line. He had 30 punts for 50 yards or longer, two shy of the NCAA single-season record. The opposition called for 21 fair catches and returned only 19 of his punts for 111 yards (5.8 avg), with none longer than 14 yards. That gave him a 40.58-yard net average.
In two seasons at Georgia Tech, Brooks shattered school and conference career records with an average of 45.31 yards on 144 punts for 6,525 yards. He had 20 kicks go for touchbacks and 68 attempts that were downed inside the 20-yard line. The opposition called for 30 fair catches and returned 52 other kicks for 275 yards (5.29 avg), finishing with a 40.63-yard net average.
Brooks put on a sensational show during Senior Bowl practices that NFL coaches are still raving about. Brooks stepped into his first punt of the day during Tuesday's session and sent it sailing. As the ball continued to fly past the other sideline and then over the head of Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden, Gruden simply looked up at the ball and asked, "Is that serious?"
The fact is, punts like those are not only serious for Brooks, but they have become routine. "Durant is a great talent," 49ers head coach Mike Nolan said. "I don't think teams are going to be able to sit around and hope he falls to them."
After Tuesday's practice featured the length of Brooks' punts, Wednesday focused more on directional and pooch punting drills. With the NFL scouts already aware of his leg strength, Brooks proved he could consistently down the ball inside the 10-yard line. "Everyone knows that Durant can kick the ball a good ways, but what's underrated is how incredible his hang time is," one scout said. "When you're trying to punt the ball inside the 20 it's all about hang time, and Durant does it better than anybody."
Positives: Not ripped, but has good muscular structure for a punter, with big hands, developed thighs and calves, but also has short-than-ideal arms...Does a very good job of turning over his punts, as he has the leg strength to boom towering punts for hang time and distance...Became much more effective angling his punts toward the sidelines as a senior, having placed 68 of his 144 attempts inside the 20-yard line in his two years at Tech...Will generally average about 4.5-4.88 seconds in hang time on his kicks, resulting in the opposition calling for 30 fair catches the last two seasons, including 21 in 2007... Hard worker in the weight room (one-of-the-guys type who does not have a typical kicker's mentality) and has been a fine example and leader for the team's younger players...Has the timed speed to get down field and support the coverage unit (seems to shy away from contact, though)...Is always very well prepared for his upcoming opponent, putting in the extra hours in the film room studying the punt returner's tendencies...Makes good mental adjustments on the field and thrives in pressure situations, doing a good job of blocking out any distractions on the field...Has the leg strength to explode into the ball on contact, as his punts accelerate at a very fast pace, getting good rise to prevent blocks...Fields the ball cleanly and has the large, soft hands, along with timing and leaping ability to adjust to poor snaps...Has the ability to launch very long kicks on a steady basis (57 for 50 yards or more the last two years, an NCAA record)...Has a very respectable catch-to-kick timing of 1.25-1.28 seconds, showing no wasted motion in his follow-through, getting the ball of quickly...The ball comes off his foot sharply, demonstrating excellent follow-through and extension to get a very good rise on his kicks...Very effective at getting the ball right down the middle of the field and showed marked improvement with his angles on pooch punts as a senior compared to 2006 (sideline placement is starting to become his specialty)...Is rarely affected by poor weather conditions and knows how to kick into the wind for distance...Poised under pressure and will not let a bad kick affect his performance...Also contributes as a holder for field goals and placements.
Negatives: Has a very powerful leg with the ability to angle his punts towards the boundaries, but needs to improve his accuracy and placement, as he has had a good share of his attempts result in touchbacks (20 of 144 kicks)...Generally will use a two-step approach, but based on field position, he will sometimes lengthen it by a half step, making his kicking time look a bit deliberate (also affects his hang time, as he will average 4.8 seconds with his hang time on a two-step approach, but it drops to an average of 4.0 seconds or lower when taking extra steps)...At times, he gets caught up in kicking for long distances, kicking the ball away rather than trying to position it towards the sidelines... Has good athletic skills, adequate strength and timed speed, yet did not register any tackles in his role as the safety valve on the coverage units...Seems a bit reluctant to get involved in contact as a tackler, preferring to let others handle that job...Has handled just punting duties throughout his college career and can't be considered even an emergency fill-in as a place-kicker or kickoff specialist.
Compares To: MIKE SCIFRES-San Diego...Scifres is much bigger than Brooks, but both have the same philosophy in their punting approach - boom the ball high and long, giving the coverage team an excellent chance to set up and prevent the long return. Both have a very good ability for placing their kicks inside the 20-yard line. Outside of Scifres, no one in the NFL can match Brooks' hang time (just needs to be more consistent). Look for Brooks to be the first punter taken in the draft. It's fitting that he won the Ray Guy Award in 2007, as Guy has been a family friend and mentor.
Had 57 punts for 50 yards or longer in a two-year span, breaking the old NCAA record of 51 by Marv Bateman of Utah (1970-71, on 133 punts)...His 30 punts for 50 yards or longer in 2007 was two shy of the NCAA single-season record of 30 by Todd Sauerbrun of West Virginia (on 72 attempts in 1994)...Brooks' career average of 45.31 yards rank fourth in the NCAA record books (150-249 punts), topped only by Sauerbrun (46,31 average on 167 punts for 7,733 yards, 1991-94), Reggie Roby of Iowa (45.63 average on 172 punts for 7,849 yards, 1979-82) and Greg Montgomery of Michigan State (45.42 average on 170 punts for 7,721 yards, 1985-87)...His 45.31-yard average broke the old Atlantic Coast Conference career record of 45.26 yards by Ryan Plackemeier of Wake Forest (220 for 9,957 yards, 2002-05) and set a new school record, topping the previous mark of 41.42 yards by Rodney Williams (178 for 7,373 yards, 1995-98)...His 45.52-yard average in 2006 ran second in school annals behind Williams' 45.64-yard average in 1997 and rank seventh on the ACC single-season record list...His 144 punt attempts placed him eighth on the school all-time record list...His 79 punts in 2006 rank third on the Tech single-season record list behind Jeff Pierce (88 in 1980) and Ben Arndt (87 in 2005)...Gained 453 yards punting vs. Boston College in 2007, the fourth-best game total in school annals, topped by Rodney Williams (553 vs. Florida State, 1997), Sean McDevitt (505 vs. Clemson, 1987) and Ron Rice (454 vs. Auburn, 1982)...His 60.0-yard average vs. North Carolina in 2007 shattered the school's old single-game record average of 53.3 yards by Rodney Williams vs. Duke in 1997.
All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, Rivals.com and Sports Illustrated, adding second-team honors from Walter Camp and the Associated Press...All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice...Recipient of the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter...Ranked second in the conference and fifth in the nation with a 45.06-yard average on 65 punts for 2,929 yards...Had a long of 77 yards, as nine kicks were ruled touchbacks and 33 were downed inside the 20-yard line...Had one kick blocked, as the opposition called for 21 fair catches and returned just 19 of his kicks for 111 yards (5.84 avg), as he attained a 40.58-yard net average...30 of his punts were for 50 yards or longer, including a 77-yarder...Did not allow any punts to be returned vs. Virginia Tech and Fresno State (Humanitarian Bowl) and held the opposition to minus yardage on punt returns vs. Notre Dame, Samford, Virginia and Georgia.
Second-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp and the Associated Press...All-ACC first-team choice and finalist for the Ray Guy Award in his first season punting for the Yellow Jackets...Led the conference and ranked fourth in the nation with a 45.52-yard average, punting 79 times for 3,956 yards...Had eleven touch-backs and 35 kicks that were downed inside the 20-yard line...The opposition called for nine fair catches and returned 33 kicks for 164 yards, as Brooks amassed a 40.66-yard net average...27 of his punts were for 50 yards or longer.
Transferred to Tech in 2005 after two years at Georgia Military College . . . Redshirted in 2005.
2002: Suffered a left clavicle fracture as a senior in high school, missing two December football games and seven basketball contests.
Campus: 4.87 in the 40-yard dash...280-pound bench press...30.5-inch vertical jump...9'4" broad jump...29 1/8-inch arm length...9 5/8-inch hands...Right-handed...Right-footed kicker...25/41 Wonderlic score.
Combine: Measured in at 6:02.0 and 204 pounds.
Brooks enrolled at Georgia Military College, spending two years punting for head coach Bert Williams...Averaged nearly 40 yards per punt over his two seasons.
Attended Tattnall Square (Macon, Ga.) Academy, playing football for head coach Barney hester...Lettered three years...Helped lead the team to the 2001 GISA state title...Was also a basketball standout, averaging 18 points a game and setting the school record for career three-pointers.
Management major...Legendary punter Ray Guy of Thomson, Georgia, is a family friend and mentor of Brooks, who attended the NFL star's kicking camp...Son of LuAnne Durant and Paul and Debbie Brooks...Born Durant Stiles Brooks on 4/15/85...Resides in Gordon, Georgia.
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