Brooks has tumor removed, LSU safety out indefinitely, awaits results of biopsy

Published 8:08 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

Several bouts of dizziness led LSU safety Greg Brooks to see a doctor, who discovered Brooks had a “large brain tumor” which was removed on Friday.

That was what kept him home from the Tigers’ trip to Mississippi State last weekend, an absence which head coach Brian Kelly could not comment on beyond describing it as a “medical emergency” before Brooks’ family provided further details on Wednesday.

The family took to social media to say that the surgery was successful in removing the mass and that they were awaiting the results of a biopsy.

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“Greg continues to fight and we await further clarity on the extent of that battle,” the family’s post read. “His incredible strength of character gives us confidence, but we also know that he needs our support now more than ever. Please keep Greg and our family in your prayers.”

Brooks, a New Orleans area native who played at West Jefferson High School, is in his second season at LSU as a transfer from Arkansas, where he started for three seasons as a safety.

The No. 12 Tigers (2-1, 1-0) play Arkansas (2-1, 0-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Thus, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman knows him well.

“I mean this with all my heart,” Pittman said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. “He’s a wonderful, wonderful kid, and that didn’t change when he decided to go back to his home state of Louisiana. We have prayed and will continue to pray for his health.”

Kelly was also allowed to break his silence on the teleconference.

He said Brooks experienced several instances of what was believed to be vertigo during August and missed several preseason practices before playing in the first two games.

When he experienced more dizziness last Wednesday, Kelly said, “Finally we said enough’s enough and we got an MRI. That’s when the tumor was located. The vertigo was just a symptom of what was obviously a larger issue.”

Just as obviously, he said he couldn’t speculate on when or if Brooks might return.

“There are so many unanswered questions. I don’t know if I could give you an educated answer to that,” said Kelly, who said he visited with Brooks Sunday in the hospital. “Before he went in, he was pretty clear about playing again this year. That’s Greg Brooks.”

His teammates presented him with the game ball from the Tigers’ 41-14 win over Mississippi State.

“We are grateful for the work and care of the medical staff helping Greg through these challenges” the family’s social media post read, “and for the concern and love poured out by the Louisiana, Arkansas and national sports communities. This means the world to us at this difficult time.”

Brooks, who sometimes plays the nickel spot in addition to safety, has been a mainstay in the Tigers’ secondary the last two seasons. Sophomore Sage Ryan and freshman Ryan Yaites replaced him last Saturday.

In the first two games Brooks made eight tackles, one for a loss, along with two passes broken up and a quarterback hurry.

Last season, he made 66 tackles, including three for loss, to go with two interceptions and three passes broken up.