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Brooks finds a place to play

BURROUGHS HIGH -- Burroughs High football player David Brooks has

never doubted his athletic ability would earn him an opportunity to

play at the college level.

However, the 5-foot-9, 150-pound senior also realized his size

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would likely deter some collegiate coaches from recruiting him. All

he needed was a coach who would look past his unassuming stature and

take a chance on the skillful multipurpose player.

He found that person in Weber State University Coach Jerry

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Graybeal, as Brooks has signed a letter of intent to play for the

Wildcats.

“We are excited about having David with our program,” said

Graybeal, who has guided the program for five seasons. “David has a

lot of athletic ability and we were impressed with the high-school

films we saw of him.

“More than that, he also seems like a very nice young man. He

represented himself, his family and his school very well.”

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Brooks said he made the decision to play for Weber State -- a

Division IAA school in Ogden, Utah -- after taking a recruiting trip

to the campus.

Brooks said he is indebted to Coach Graybeal for giving him the

opportunity to continue to play at a higher level.

“I know a lot of other coaches didn’t want to take a chance on me

because of my size,” Brooks said. “I was just hoping a college would

at least consider me and give me a chance to show what I can do.

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“I’m very happy about playing for Weber State. I want to do well

for them, and to show Coach [Graybeal] that they made the right

decision about signing me. I really have something to prove.”

Brooks, who played running back, wide receiver, quarterback and

defensive back for Burroughs last season, will likely play the

cornerback position for the Wildcats.

Weber State will have a talented running-back duo next season, led

by 6-2, 200-pound junior Nick Choumos, who rushed for 874 yards in

174 carries and had 10 touchdowns in 2002.

Graybeal said the team should also get a boost from 6-0, 230-pound

running back James Samuel, a transfer from Utah State. Samuel, who

was an All-CIF Southern Section star at Pasadena Muir in 1999, was an

all-conference player at Pasadena City College in 2000, after

redshirting the 1999 season at San Diego State.

“David realizes that he is probably going to have to wait at least

two seasons before he can get a shot at playing running back.”

Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. “But if he puts on a little weight

and continues to improve, I think he’s got a good shot.”

Graybeal said he isn’t worried about Brooks catching on playing

defensive back full time.

“It’s not like David hasn’t played on the defensive side of the

ball before,” he said. “Usually, players with a lot of athletic

ability have no problem adapting to a new position. We know David

will do fine.”

Last season, Weber State struggled at times, going 2-9 -- 1-6 in t

Big Sky Conference. The team has a 12-game road losing streak.

“We’re still not done recruiting,” Graybeal. “So we are hoping to

pick up a few more players and strengthen our team.”

Last season for Burroughs, Brooks saw his share of work. A

second-team All-Foothill League pick at running back, he rushed for

795 yards in 119 carries for eight touchdowns. Along with catching 23

balls for 350 yards and three touchdowns, he was also 11 for 19

passing for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He had one interception

at defensive back.

In all but one game for Burroughs (5-6), Brooks had at least 200

all-purpose yards.

Brooks is a two-time Burbank Leader All-Area first-team honoree,

last season as an all-purpose player and in 2001 as a defensive back.

Along with being a fine football player, Brooks has also succeeded

in the classroom and has a 3.3 grade-point average.


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