Fresno All-American boosts Diesel hopes
03/16/02 Kearney Cyberhub
KEARNEY — The Tri-City Diesel have big shoes (and hands) to fill with former University of Nebraska at Kearney wide receiver Trevor Weston missing from this year's roster.
Weston led the Diesel in nearly every receiving category by hauling in 44 passes for 630 yards and 17 touchdowns during Tri-City's 6-8 inaugural season.
But the Diesel are hoping the addition of NIFL veteran Jermaine Brooks will help fill the sizable statistical void left in Weston's wake.
"Brooks and Weston are not the same type of player," Tri-City coach Leland Skeen said. "Weston was more of a pure receiver, but Jermaine can do some things that Trevor probably couldn't.
"He is a great athlete and he is capable of doing some big things. He is a strong player and his quickness will show on the field."
Brooks, who played for division rival Sioux City last season, said he is looking forward to strutting his stuff for the Tri-City faithful on Saturday.
"I want to get this team as far as it can get," he said. "We have a better team than they had last year, and hopefully that translates into success."
The 195-pound Brooks may not make the circus catches Weston routinely made last season, but that doesn't mean he doesn't boast big play ability.
"The most deadly part of my game is my YAC (yards after catch)," Brooks said. "I like to make people miss in the open field."
Brooks, a native of Palmdale, Calif., honed his receiving skills at Fresno State where he earned All-American honors in 1998 and 1999.
He was rated among the top 100 receivers in the NCAA after leading the Bulldogs in receiving and kick returns during his season and has hopes of playing in the NFL.
"I want to move on to another level," Brooks said. "But I'm here to do my best for this team first."
One reason Brooks would like to reach the next level is the NIFL's new policy on player's salaries. NIFL teams used to pay players different wages based on their experience, but now every player receives $200 per game regardless of how many years they have played.
"That's a little hard to deal with," Brooks admitted.