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The Oklahoman's All-State football team: Tulsa Union's Shamari Brooks is just "a football player"

Tulsa Union's Shamari Brooks rushes past defenders in a game against Southmoore in October. [PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Tulsa Union's Shamari Brooks rushes past defenders in a game against Southmoore in October. [PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Tulsa Union head coach Kirk Fridrich said the best way to describe Redskins running back Shamari Brooks is simply “a football player.”

Brooks, who rushed for 2,018 yards and scored 30 touchdowns (28 rushing) for Tulsa Union's state championship team this season, has been named to The Oklahoman's All-State football team.

Union had so much depth at running back, Fridrich moved Brooks to defense as a starting linebacker for his junior season just to get him on the field.

“The way he played tailback as a sophomore made us think he could play linebacker,” Fridrich said. “To me, I describe him as a football player. I think you can put him at any position and he would excel.”

Brooks returned to the offensive backfield for his senior season and dominated, rushing for 232 yards and three touchdowns in the Redskins' 57-43 win over Norman North in the state championship game.

Brooks had 100 yards rushing on 12 carries just in the first quarter of the state title game against the Timberwolves. He also threw two key blocks on touchdown receptions in that game.

He played sparingly on defense his senior season, used by Tulsa Union coaches as a pass rusher in certain situations.

Count Norman North head coach Brent Barnes as one of many opposing coaches who were impressed with Brooks.

“He has a great combination of strength and speed and quickness, what you would want out of a back,” Barnes said. “He runs extremely hard. He is a guy, even if there is not anything there, he can get out of a tackle. He is tough to bring down and when there is something there, he certainly can explode through the hole and make a big play anytime.”

It would be difficult to pick a most valuable player on Tulsa Union's talented club, but Brooks might be it.

“The way he attacked the game on Friday night, I think, really energized our football team,” Fridrich said. “If you had to pick one person that probably helped us, he was a guy who really led this team the way he played on Friday nights.”

Brooks will now take his talents to the University of Tulsa. Barnes thinks Brooks will do the same things in college that he did in high school.

“I see him the same way at the next level,” Barnes said. “He is a versatile back. He is a physical kid. I would imagine he is as good at pass protection and any type of role where he has to get out and block as well.

“The things he does with the football in his hands in high school, he will be able to do at the next level.”

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›