Stock up: Kendell Brooks, DB
The final player to be highlighted also had a shoutout last week.
Against Western, I credited Kendell Brooks for playing a very solid game considering the unexpected situation of a Xavier Henderson injury. Brooks proved it was not a fluke this week.
As nearly every Michigan State football writer has noted this week, Brooks is stepping up to the challenge of replacing the veteran leader of the Michigan State defense. Brooks finished Saturday in a tie for second on the Spartan defense with seven tackles, three of them solo, and a pass breakup. This stat line is very Henderson-esque, and it tells me the Spartans are in great hands with the former Division II safety holding the starting role for now.
The pass defense was not great to begin on Saturday, but I do believe that Brooks was held to a different set of standards with the injury situation. After his play against the Zips, I doubt he will get that leeway anymore from the fans.
The Spartans have found a very reliable short-term starter for while Henderson is out. Whenever X returns, the staff should feel much more comfortable in rotating their safeties as well. Brooks’ stats were exactly what I would expect to see from Henderson in a game.
If Brooks puts up statistics anywhere near this on Saturday against Washington, the Spartan defense will likely have done their job. I am hoping that I get to write another “stock up” piece on Brooks next week. Also, my praise for Brooks was some of the first, with everyone joining the bandwagon this week. I’ll pat myself on the back for that stock watch last week.