Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The practice field at Riverside University High School is a long way from the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and the Super Bowl, but it's a journey Brandon Brooks has traveled with dedication, grit and grace.
At Riverside, Brandon was a four-sport athlete, taking part in football, baseball, basketball and track. He excelled in football, playing both offense and defense, and was named team captain his senior year while leading his team to the state football playoffs.
He earned an athletic scholarship to Miami University (Ohio) and after graduation, was drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans. He signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 and was voted to his first Pro Bowl in 2017. He will play guard for Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII.
Brandon has spent time with the Riverside football team during visits to his hometown. He credits his father for driving him by "creating a work ethic that would allow him to reach his dreams" and making him "allergic to average."
Brandon has also spoken publicly about his severe anxiety that was spurred by his desire for football perfection and shared a message for his fans and young people.
"It's okay not to be perfect," Brandon said in a recent interview. "You've got an issue or a problem, you first have to admit it and accept it. I admit it. I accept it. I own it. I'm not ashamed of needing help and asking for help and getting the help I need."