Brooks' punting amazes Wyoming coach by Robert Bourbon Adam Brooks, of Vermillion, has the fourth highest punting average in the Mountain West Conference, where he plays football for the University of Wyoming.
Averaging 44.1 yards per punt, the junior continues to amaze his coach, Joe Glenn.
"Brooks has not scratched the surface of what he can do, he has not shown us anything yet. He had some growing pains, but more experience will take care of that," said Glenn.
Brooks, who never went to punting school, taught himself to punt. He questioned whether he was good enough, which is why he did not try out for the team at first.
"I've learned patience and confidence, and believe now that I am good enough to be here," said Brooks.
Coach Glenn concurs, crediting Brooks with a game saving play against Ole Miss on Sept. 25.
"Brooks had his punt blocked, and was able to run back 20 yards, get the ball, and punt it to the Ole Miss 25 yard line. It was a tremendous play," said the coach. Brooks had a 52-yard punt in that game, won by Wyoming, 37-32. His three punts went an average of 45 yards.
In the Oct. 9 game against San Diego, won by Wyoming 20-10, Brooks had eight punts, averaging 43 yards.
Glenn, in his second year at Wyoming, has three national championships in 19 years of coaching. One was at Montana, the other two at Northern Colorado. The coach has a 70.7 winning percentage, and was co-coach of the year in 2002. Add in a streak of 14 consecutive winning seasons, and it's safe to say he knows a little about football.
Brooks liked what he saw when he came to visit the university, and he knew he wanted to play Division I football.
"The only drawback is that I can't go home on weekends," he said. "I also knew I would have to manage my time better. From sunrise to sunset, studies and football take all of my time, but I have kept up pretty well. I struggled at first, but I have study hall down pretty well," he said.
Presently, Wyoming is averaging 28 points per game, while its defense is giving up 18, ranked second in the conference in both categories. The rushing defense is also ranked second, averaging 113 yards given up each game.
The team also leads the conference in turnover margin, with plus six, and punt returns, averaging 14.9 yards, with two touchdowns.
These statistics include the 31-0 thrashing by Texas A&M on Sept. 11.
On Friday afternoons before a game, after the walk through, Brooks will walk around the team hotel, hang out in his room, and "stay by myself," he said.
Brooks has stated that the team goals are to win the conference and, "go to a bowl game," he said.
Wyoming was defeated by Utah 45-28 in Laramie on Nov. 13. It also dropped a game to New Mexico 16-9 Nov. 20 in Albuquerque. Wyoming (6-5, 3-4) will get a bowl bid � the Cowboys' first in 11 years � if Utah beats Brigham Young on Saturday night.
Brooks continues to work on his personal goals: "Establishing myself as one of the better punters in the conference, and get my punting average to 45," he said.
Brooks also said earlier this year he was looking forward to November, when the bitter winds make keeping his feet warm a challenge, not knowing exactly when he will be called to punt a rock hard football.
Academic First Team
Brooks is one of three Cowboys selected to UW's 2004 Academic All-District VII First Team. The athletes are chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Brooks was selected to this elite team for the first time. He will advance on to the national ballot for Academic All-Amerca voting. That 2004 Academic All-America Football Team will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
District VII is made up of the states of: Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. A total of 87 players from 19 universities were nominated in District VII, with only 24 earning First Team honors.
Brooks, a criminal justice major, has a 3.298 GPA. He is currenlty ranked No. 11 in the nation in punting, averaging 44.1 yards per punt. He has placed 27 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line and 46 percent of his punts haven't been returned.