Terrance Brooks earned team’s respect after stepping in for injured D’Shawn Jamison

Hunter Dworaczyk, Senior Sports Reporter

Shortly before Texas-TCU kicked off this past Saturday, fifth-year senior defensive back D’Shawn Jamison was ruled out of the contest. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian later revealed Jamison’s absence was because of a concussion he suffered during practice. 

True freshman defensive back Terrance Brooks made his first career start in Jamison’s place during the 17-10 loss to TCU, finishing with four tackles.

Making his first start against the high-powered TCU offense, which had not scored less than 34 points in a game all season, the freshman largely held his own on Saturday.

“In a big moment like that, he was able to come in,” junior linebacker Jaylan Ford said. “He had to do what he had to do. He made us feel like we didn’t really need to worry about him.”

Although the result ended with a loss, the Texas defense arguably put up its most noteworthy performance of the season. The Longhorns held TCU senior quarterback Max Duggan to just 124 passing yards, his lowest total since taking over for Chandler Morris as the starter.

While Brooks did not necessarily have a flashy performance after not recording a tackle for loss or forcing a turnover, his relatively seamless insertion into the spot was huge for Texas’ defensive showing.

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said he thinks Brooks logged 72 snaps, which would mean he played a majority of the game. During his time on the field, Brooks typically lined up against either TCU’s junior receiver Quentin Johnston or junior receiver Savion Williams.

While Brooks certainly was not alone in covering those receivers, both were held below their season averages for receiving yards.

“I was proud of him,” junior defensive back Jahdae Barron said. “I told him every play (that) the ball is coming to (him).”

Despite how Brooks did against the Horned Frogs, the starting spot is expected to be Jamison’s upon his return. Jamison, who Sarkisian described as “getting better” on Monday, cannot be easily replaced. The Houston product played 57 career games for the Longhorns in five seasons.

Instead, Brooks is likely going to have to accept a return to a more limited role once Jamison is cleared from the head injury. 

Still, stepping up into the role like he did seemed to impress his teammates and coaching staff. With Jamison’s eligibility expiring at the end of this season, Brooks’ performance against TCU may be enough for him to earn more playing time for next season.

“I’m proud of him,” junior defensive back Ryan Watts said. “What he did as a true freshman starting in his first game and playing the whole game, he proved a lot to me.”

However, there was one moment where Brooks’ youth showed in the game against TCU. Trailing 10-3, a miscommunication from Brooks and senior defensive back Anthony Cook allowed Johnston to score a wide-open 31-yard touchdown. The blown coverage gave TCU what was ultimately the game-deciding score.

Nevertheless, Sarkisian said on Monday that he thinks Brooks played a good game for his first career start. The head coach said Brooks looked physical and appeared to get more comfortable as the game went on.

“For his first career start, he looked very comfortable,” Sarkisian said. “I think there’s plenty of room for him to grow and things for him to learn from.”