James Brooks
No. 21     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1958-12-28) December 28, 1958 (age 61)
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
Rushing yards     7,962
Average     4.7
Touchdowns     49
Stats at

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

High school and college careerEdit

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 careerEdit

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.

Brooks was arrested in 1999 for failure to pay child support, owing over $100,000. 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.


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