James Brooks (American football)

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James Brooks
No. 21
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1958-12-28) December 28, 1958 (age 55)
Place of birth: Warner Robins, Georgia
Career information
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Debuted in 1981 for the San Diego Chargers
Last played in 1992 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards 7,962
Average 4.7
Touchdowns 49
Stats at NFL.com

James Brooks (born December 28, 1958) is a retired NFL football running back.

High school and college career[edit]

His young career started with success in elementary school. He led the Warner Robins High School Demons to a State championship and a National Championship, ranking in 1976. He left Warner Robins High with the school record for rushing, a record that stood until Willie Reid (a FSU stand-out) broke his record during his Warner Robins career. He played collegiately at Auburn University from 1977–1980 and earned All-American status along with future NFL backs William Andrews and Joe Cribbs, where he set school records for kickoff return yards (1,726) and all-purpose yards (5,596), while also scoring 30 touchdowns.

Professional career[edit]

Brooks played professionally with the San Diego Chargers (1981–1983), the Cincinnati Bengals (1984–1991), the Cleveland Browns (1992), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1992).

A four-time Pro Bowler (1986, 1988–1990), Brooks excelled at running, receiving, and kick returning. By the time he left the Bengals in 1991, he was the team's all time leading rusher with 6,447 yards (he has since been surpassed by Corey Dillon's 8,061 yards), and is still among the Bengals top 15 all time leading receivers with 297 receptions for 3,012 yards. By the time of his retirement after the 1993 season, Brooks amassed 7,962 rushing yards, 383 receptions for 3,621 receiving yards, 565 punt return yards, 2,762 kickoff return yards, and scored 79 touchdowns (49 rushing and 30 receiving). As of 2012, Brooks' 14,910 total net yards ranks him #29 on the NFL's list of career total All Purpose yard leaders.

His most memorable run happened in a December 7, 1986 game against the New England Patriots. In that play, Brooks made several cutbacks, broke several tackles and dragged the final 5 yards across the goal line for a 56-yard touchdown run for the Bengals.

Brooks made a Super Bowl appearance with the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. He also was a key participant in 2 of the most famous games in NFL Lore during his rookie season with the Chargers: The Epic in Miami, and the Freezer Bowl.

Statistics[edit]

Note: G = Games played; Att = Rushing attempts; Yds = Rushing yards; Avg = Average yards per carry; Long = Longest rush; Rush TD = Rushing touchdowns; Rec = Receptions; Yds = Receiving yards; Avg = Average yards per reception; Long = Longest reception; Rec TD = Receiving touchdowns

Year Team GP Att Yds Avg Long Rush TD Rec Yds Avg Long Rec TD
1981 San Diego Chargers 14 109 525 4.8 28 3 46 329 7.2 29 3
1982 San Digeo Chargers 9 87 430 4.9 48 6 13 66 5.1 12 0
1983 San Diego Chargers 15 127 516 4.1 61 3 25 215 8.6 36 0
1984 Cincinnati Bengals 15 103 396 3.8 33 2 34 268 7.9 27 2
1985 Cincinnati Bengals 16 192 929 4.8 39 7 55 576 10.5 57 5
1986 Cincinnati Bengals 16 205 1,087 5.3 56 5 54 686 12.7 54 4
1987 Cincinnati Bengals 9 94 280 3.1 18 1 22 272 12.4 46 2
1988 Cincinnati Bengals 15 182 931 5.1 51 8 29 287 9.9 28 6
1989 Cincinnati Bengals 16 221 1,239 5.6 65 7 37 306 8.3 25 2
1990 Cincinnati Bengals 16 195 1,004 5.1 56 5 26 269 10.3 35 4
1991 Cincinnati Bengals 15 152 571 3.8 25 2 40 348 8.7 40 2
1992 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 5 6 1.2 4 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
1992 Cleveland Browns 4 13 38 2.9 13 0 2 -1 -0.5 4 0
Career Totals 162 1,685 7,962 4.7 65 49 383 3,621 9.5 57 30
  • Stats that are highlighted show career high

Personal[edit]

Brooks was arrested in 1999 for failure to pay child support, owing over $110,000. When asked by the judge how he graduated from Auburn, Brooks said, “I didn’t have to go to class.” He served three months of a six months sentence before being assigned to a work release program. He now works at the Walton Kentucky location of GSI Commerce as a warehouse associate.

References[edit]