July 13, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. -
The Cincinnati Bengals selected former UVa linebacker Ahmad Brooks in the third round of the 2006 NFL supplemental draft today. The Bengals used the 22nd pick in the third round on Brooks, meaning they will lose the corresponding pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
The top player in the nation coming out of high school, Brooks made an immediate impact upon his arrival in Charlottesville. He earned Freshman All-America honors in 2003 after leading the team in tackling with an average of 9.0 tackles per game. He made at least seven tackles in 12 of 13 games and had six double-digit performances while becoming the first freshman to lead UVa in tackling in 13 years.
"This presents a new opportunity for Ahmad and I hope he makes the most of it," said Virginia coach Al Groh. "All indications are that he has had a pretty good last couple of months which is a good start for him as a professional. We all wish Ahmad well. He certainly has the ability to have an outstanding NFL career."
Brooks was one of three finalists for the 2004 Butkus Award despite being just a sophomore and led the team in tackling for the second year in a row (7.5/g). Brooks also recorded eight sacks that season and became the first Cavalier linebacker since Ray Savage in 1989 to earn first-team All-American honors.
Following the 2004 season he underwent knee surgery and missed spring practice and training camp. He didn't return to practice until the season had already started and had to play his way into shape as he went along. Overall Brooks played in only six games while battling a variety of injuries. He finished last season with 27 tackles and averaged 4.5 tackles per game. After missing the first three games of the season, he returned to play against Maryland. He missed the following week's game against Boston College, but returned to play in the next five contests. He did not play in either of the Cavaliers' final two games, including the Music City Bowl against Minnesota.
Brooks finished his career with 13 sacks, fourth most by a UVa linebacker. He also ranks 27th in school history with 234 tackles.
He is the first Virginia player ever selected in the NFL Supplemental Draft.