Editor’s note: The Green Bay Packers selected DL Karl Brooks with the No. 179 pick in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 29.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BVM) – Bowling Green State edge rusher Karl Brooks had quite the finish to his collegiate career. The senior defensive lineman racked up 18 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks in 2022, earning him a spot on the All-MAC first team.
He also secured his football future.
Karl Brooks keeps working and gets the sack on Max Duggan pic.twitter.com/alP97MCNi0
— RanDynasty (@ran_dynasty) February 4, 2023
Pro Football Focus ranks Brooks as the No. 80 prospect in the upcoming NFL draft.
But way before he was thinking about his draft status, he was just a kid finding his love for the game.
“At a young age, I told my dad what I loved the most and that was football,” Brooks said. “When I was around 8 or 9 years old, that’s when I kind of knew that I enjoyed playing football. As I got older, I started taking it more seriously.”
Growing up in Lansing, Michigan, Brooks attended J.W. Sexton High School. And even before he became a consistent contributor on the varsity team, everybody could tell there was something different about him.
“I wasn’t listening to everybody else, but they would tell me that I had a lot of potential,” Brooks said.
By the time he finished his high school career, he had turned that potential into production.
As a senior, Brooks had 108 tackles along with five forced fumbles. He was named first-team all-conference that year.
Following that season is when the recruiting trail really started to heat up for him. He announced his commitment to BGSU on National Signing Day.
He had an immediate impact on the Falcons, playing 12 games as a freshman and leading the team in sacks. Over the course of his five years with the school, he totaled 167 tackles, 46 tackles for loss and 27.5 sacks.
But the current trajectory of the program takes priority over his personal numbers.
During his freshman year, the Falcons went 3-9. In his final year, they went 6-6 and made their first bowl game appearance since 2015.
“When I got to Bowling Green, it really wasn’t a winning culture,” Brooks said. “The way we turned it around my senior year was a really big accomplishment for us, Bowling Green and that program. Just being able to look back and say that I made that place better than what I found it is something I can hang my head high on.”
There was speculation prior to Brooks’ final year that he may play his last college season at a bigger school, but for him, it was never a question.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 31, 2023
“I always wanted to win for Bowling Green,” Brooks said. “They believed in me before anyone else did.”
Brooks was a surprising snub from the NFL draft combine, and whichever team selects him later this month, will be getting a player with a bit of a chip on his shoulder entering the next level.
“I want to be dominant out there,” Brooks said. “I don’t just want to make the team, but go out there and contribute to the team. I just want to win football games.”