The calling: Walker's Martin Brooks and the coach who believed in him
WALKER - Walker offensive line coach John Compton was driving down highway 1027 a few years ago when he saw 8th grader Martin Brooks walking down the road.
Compton could tell Brooks had potential, but also knew he needed work.
"He was playing basketball at the time," Compton said. "Didn't have a whole lot of direction."
"I used to get in fights a lot," Brooks said. "Fighting was my main thing."
Compton invited Brooks to lift with the football players, and sensing the benefits to Brook's well-being, encouraged him to come out for the team.
"I was like dude, you're coming out to play football, that's the end of it," Compton recalls saying at one point. "What else are you going to do?"
Brooks and Compton share a similar background of having to overcome difficult family issues. In Compton, Brooks saw someone who could relate to his trials: in Brooks, Compton saw a little bit of himself.
Compton took Brooks under his wing, and now Compton - who played center at LSU in 1999 and 2000 - has developed Brooks into a potential DI prospect.
The Wildcats junior left tackle is now 6'2" with a 6'5" wingspan, and has drawn the attention of the likes of LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who paid Brooks a visit last summer.
"I didn't know who he was," Brooks said. "I thought he was just some country dude...then coach Compton told me he was in that movie."
The movie was The Blind Side, a film that Brooks relates to as a young man who has had to overcome adversity and is trying to make his way to the college ranks.
"I went from a horrible kid to an okay kid," Brooks said.
Compton, standing right next to Brooks added: "we're still working though."
Brooks: "Yea, we're still working."