FAYETTEVILLE — Greg Brooks Jr. is part of an improved secondary that has helped the Hogs get three SEC wins with that many games also left to play.
Brooks has 29 tackles, including 16 solo, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries. Brooks talked about what has made him a better player this season though he played well as a true freshman.
“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more mature than last year,” Brooks said. “I really didn’t even know what I was doing last year. They just had me in the fire. This year, I’m starting to understand it more. Then I put this past week behind us. We’re moving forward.”
Brooks talked about what he learned last year by being thrown into the fire.
“A lot,” Brooks said. “Just do your job and you’ll be able to make plays. Don’t try to overthink everything. If you do your job then you’ll be in the right spots to make the play and be productive for your team. I feel like all of us (defensive backs) are doing that this year.”
Brooks and the Hogs will host LSU on Saturday. Brooks talked about his recruiting and the late push by LSU.
“They offered me at the last second,” Brooks said. “It was actually on Signing Day right when I was about to commit to Arkansas. I think Joe (Foucha) been had the offer. It’s a little extra. I want to get this dub, get that trophy, especially since we’re playing them boys from The Boot.”
What did you think about the LSU offer?
“Nothing of it,” Brooks said. “My coach told me and I was like, ‘Oh well.’ It didn’t really matter to me. I really didn’t care.”
Brooks and his teammates are preparing for the LSU quarterbacks. He talked about what he expects from that group.
“We’re preparing for both of them, so whatever they throw at us we’ll be ready for,” Brooks said. “I think No. 11 (TJ Finley) is going to start – the real tall one. I think he’s going to start, and hopefully we get the other one in.”
Finley has completed 30 of 45 passes for 408 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has carried the ball 13 times for 22 yards and one touchdown. He is a freshman and the Hogs have faced three seniors in the trio of games leading up to this one. Preparing any different for Finley than the seniors?
“We’re going to send a lot of pressure this week, get him rattled, but it doesn’t really change our preparation,” Brooks said. “We just treat it as another good player we’re playing.”
The Arkansas secondary knows LSU will have some talented wide receivers to contend with. Brooks has been particularly impressed by Terrace Marshall Jr. He leads LSU with 31 catches for 540 yards and nine touchdowns.
“No. 6 is probably the best,” Brooks said. “He’s one of the better wide receivers in the SEC. They have a few other guys that are fast, but I think if we shut down No. 6 then we’re going to be good.”
Arkansas has another young defensive back from Louisiana in Nick Turner. He is a true freshman from New Orleans Brother Martin High School. Brooks talked about him.
“Oh man, Nick came a long way since the start of fall camp,” Brooks said. “He’s getting real better. Every day he’s getting better doing different things, so when he got out there, I was glad to see he got his opportunity.”
Arkansas and LSU will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.