Younger Brooks plans to make his own way -- on the field and in school

- Derrick Brooks keeps a watchful eye over Gaither High's practice field. It's a dad soaking in his son's senior season. While the two share a first name, the younger Brooks is looking to stand out on his own. He goes his middle name Decalon, which is combination for his dad's and mom's names. He even shed his dad's famous number 55 for his own number, but his talent for the game is pure Hall of Fame genetics.

"Growing up as a son of a Buccaneer player, it was very exciting," said Decalon. "You get to learn a lot. I'm just very blessed."

It's hard not to draw comparisons when watching the younger Brooks play. After all, Decalon had 14 years to study of one of the greatest linebackers to play the game.

"I watched a lot," said Decalon.  "I always learn from my dad from his playing abilities. Seeing what he did. How he read things. How he always hustled to the ball; his effort. I always watch a lot of film."

Derrick shared just two rules for Decalon to play by: Hustle and finish. The rest is for his son to figure out on his own.

"I don't get into the comparables to what Derrick Brooks did in high school 25 years ago -- outside of size," said Derrick. "He's 25 pounds bigger and stronger than what I was. No flashbacks here."

"Some people would compare me to my dad," said Decalon. "Say I'm going to do this like my dad. I'm going to do a lot of things like my dad. I'm going to go to Florida State like my dad. A lot of times it would be tough, but I will always say I've always been taught to make a name for myself. I always knew that in my mind that I'm going to make a name for Decalon Brooks and not Derrick Brooks."

It's a rule Decalon lives by and it one that's going to lead him to his next level. He has multiple college offers starting with dad's alma mater. Lovie Smith's made his first recruiting call to the Brooks house on the day he was announced at Illinois.

So could Decalon see himself putting another jersey on other that Florida State?

"I could see him putting on a college jersey of any school to be honest with you," laughed Derrick. "It's truly his decision."

"He always told me, 'Son,  I'm going to be proud of you wherever you go,'" said Decalon. "Just make sure that it's a good place for you to get better on your education, get a degree, and to move forward in life."

Derrick has a large group of Buccaneer alumni to call on. There are so many boys of Bucs they could start their own team.

"It's fun when we are all around each other," Derrick continued. "The dads, we treat it like another locker room session. While our kids are out there playing and competing , but for us it's a time for us to reminisce and go back over our playing days. It would be nice for them to form the bonds that I formed with my teammates. And our sons, hopefully they have the same love and that same opportunity too."

One of Derrick Brooks' famous moments included the making of a United Way commercial that asked a busload of children who their favorite player is.  They feel obligated to say Derrick Brooks.

So who's Decalon's favorite player now?

"Ah, man you already know," laughed Decalon. "I have to say '55 Derrick Brooks.'"

And Derrick?

"Obviously I'm a fan of my son," laughed Derrick.  "It starts and ends with him as a fan."

Decalon is up for a remake of the spot.

"'Mr. Decalon Brooks.'  That sounds good," smiled Decalon.

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