Continuing our countdown of the top players of 2017, we've finally reached the final three.
3. Jordyn Brooks, LB (Preseason Rank: 3)
Despite the 2016 Red Raider defense finishing dead last in total defense, Brooks managed to turn heads with his run stopping and ability to create turnovers. This season, with some mentoring by Junior Dakota Allen, Brooks finished with 85 total tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The defense really began to come alive during the Houston game. Brooks came off of the Arizona State game as a leading tackler and recorded five tackles against the Cougars. He also had this crucial interception which halted a Houston comeback in the third quarter.
Jordyn Brooks will return for his Junior season with the Red Raiders. Last year the combination of Brooks and Allen proved lethal and if Allen stays for his senior year, expect them to pick up where they left off next season. I'd also expect Brooks to slide into a leadership role in the defense, especially if Allen goes to the Draft. Either way, the linebackers will be in excellent hands next year.