Carrying the Spear: S Terrence Brooks

During the final 10 weeks before the season kicks off, NoleNation will march through the depth chart to analyze Florida State's top 50 contributors for the 2012 season. From Austin Barron to Vince Williams, we'll review each player's career, evaluate his role in 2012 and project what might be in store down the road.

Terrence Brooks

Safety, Junior, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds

Looking back: A three-star recruit, Terrence Brooks arrived at Florida State with potential, but limited fanfare. Still, he saw action as a freshman, largely on special teams. He added to the role as a sophomore, appearing in 12 of the Seminoles' 13 games last year, breaking up five passes and making 17 tackles in a reserve role in the backfield. The highlight for Brooks, however, came in the Champs Sports Bowl, when his fourth-quarter interception against Notre Dame helped set up the game-winning touchdown.

Right now: Brooks picked up this spring right where he had left off in the bowl game. He entered spring practice as the likely starter at safety, replacing the departed Terrance Parks, and wowed the coaching staff with his instincts and quickness. In the annual Garnet and Gold game, Brooks picked off starting QB EJ Manuel">EJ Manuel near the end of the first half and returned the interception for a touchdown, likely cementing his starting role in the process.

Looking ahead: As one of the few new faces on an established defense, Brooks will be among the most-watched players in camp this summer, but he'll be flanked by a talented and experienced secondary that should help take some of the pressure off. More importantly, Brooks has seen his level of experience grow each of the past two seasons, and that's been evidenced on the field. He probably won't blossom into an NFL-ready talent like fellow DBs Lamarcus Joyner and Xavier Rhodes, but if the Seminoles can get two years of continued development -- and a few more of those timely INTs -- from Brooks, he'll have a chance to be one of the better safeties in the conference by the time he's done.