NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.
Goal No. 8: ENTHUSIASM.
Redshirt Super Senior | 5-8 | 171 lbs. | Lee’s Summit, Missouri
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Phillip Andrew Brooks III (b. Sept. 19, 1999) enters the 2023 season ranked tops nationally among active players in career punt-return touchdowns and average, tied for first for career non-offensive touchdowns, and ranked second in career punt-return yards.
He also ranks second in school history and is tied for sixth in Big 12 history with four punt-return touchdowns (despite adding none to his ledger during the 2021 season).
Brooks also is ranked fifth in K-State history in both punt-return average (14.6) and punt-return yards (641), while he is now eighth in school history in punt-return attempts (44).
He is tied for seventh in school history in career receptions (129), and now is 255 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns, and 227 all-purpose yards shy of entering K-State’s career top-10 list in each category.
Brooks is one of only 12 players in Big 12 Conference history and one of five in school history with 1,000 receiving yards and 600 punt return yards in a career. He enters 2023 on the Paul Hornung Award watch list for the second season (he also was on it prior to 2021).
Brooks, who obtained his bachelor’s degree in finance from K-State in May 2022 and now is working on his master of business administration degree, enters the 2023 season looking to cement himself as one of KSU’s top all-purpose threats in space after a stellar senior year.
As a promising young slot receiver, he played in four games in 2018, enough to preserve his redshirt season while still gaining valuable experience under former head coach Bill Snyder.
Brooks returned three kickoffs for an 18.7-yard average and one punt for 6 yards. His best game as a kickoff returner was against Texas Tech — he had two returns for 44 total yards.
Flourishing under a new coaching staff, Brooks then saw time in 12 games in 2019, totaling 26 catches for 253 yards and one touchdown, while rushing seven times for 26 yards.
He also returned 12 kickoffs for a 22.7-yard average and eight punts for a 15-yard average.
Brooks finished fourth in the Big 12 in kickoff-return average that season, while he tied for third nationally in punt-return touchdowns.
His punt-return score was a 66-yarder against Navy in the 2019 Liberty Bowl.
Brooks also had seven catches against Baylor, the most by a Wildcat on the season and tied for the third most among freshmen in a single game in school history.
He also totaled 69 receiving yards against the Bears, while he had 63 yards against West Virginia and scored his first career touchdown on a 14-yard reception at Texas Tech.
During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Brooks was a dynamic player on offense — he played in all 10 games with four starts — but perhaps did his most damage on special teams as he finished as a third-team All-American punt returner by Phil Steele.
He also earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a punt returner from the league’s coaches.
Brooks put together a 23.7-yard punt return average, a mark that would have led the nation and been the best in school history if he had had just one more return to meet the NCAA-required minimum. (Truly unfair when most coaches not named Les Miles won’t punt to him!)
He set a school record with 189 punt-return yards and two touchdowns against Kansas en route to Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors, and his two punt-return touchdowns were the most in Big 12 Conference history for a conference game.
Brooks’ 47.25-yard average against the Jayhawks was the highest by any player in the nation with at least four attempts since at least 1996 and his two touchdowns on the season were tied for third in school history.
As a direct result of that game in particular, he helped the Wildcats to rank third in school history and second in the nation during 2020 in team punt-return average (22.07 yards).
Brooks also hauled in 15 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns on the year, while he rushed eight times for 41 yards and also earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors.
He scored the Wildcats’ first TD of the season on a 17-yard reception against Arkansas State, while he had another on a 25-yard catch just before halftime against Oklahoma State.
Brooks played in all 13 games of 2021 with 12 starts, leading the team in receiving yards (543) and ranking second in catches (43). He also returned 10 punts for an 8.6-yard average.
Brooks had a season-high 81 receiving yards in the opener against Stanford, which included a season-long catch of 56 yards. He then hauled in a season-best six catches against Oklahoma, while he had five receptions against Nevada, Texas Tech, West Virginia and LSU.
Brooks again returned two punts, for 50 yards — including a season-long of 28 yards — at Kansas, while he had a 19-yard return in the Wildcats’ win over LSU in the Texas Bowl.
He also returned a kickoff 31 yards against Southern Illinois, despite being rarely kicked to.
As a senior, Brooks started all 14 games at wide receiver during the 2022 Big 12 title season, hauling in 45 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns — all new career highs.
He ranked second in the Big 12 Conference with 168 punt return yards and returned one for a touchdown as he earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors as a kick/punt returner from the league’s coaches, in addition to picking up votes for Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.
Brooks set another new career high with 119 receiving yards — including a career-long 81-yard touchdown — at Iowa State. It was the most receiving yards by a Wildcat against a Big 12 opponent in two years.
In Ames, Brooks teamed with Malik Knowles (108 yards) to give K-State two 100-yard receivers in the same game since 2017 (Central Arkansas) and the first against a Big 12 opponent since 2014 (Kansas).
His 81-yard reception tied for the 10th longest in school history, and he also eclipsed the 50-yard receiving mark against Missouri (57 yards), Oklahoma (56 yards) and TCU (50 yards).
Brooks tied his career high with seven catches at Oklahoma, while he had a team-best six receptions against TCU in the Big 12 Championship game. He tallied receiving touchdowns against Oklahoma State and Kansas, in addition to his score at Iowa State.
Brooks returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown in the rain against Missouri en route to Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week accolades. He returned 10 total kickoffs on the year for 182 yards, with a majority of those coming in the Big 12 Championship and Sugar Bowl.
A four-year letter-winner at Lee’s Summit High School West under head coach Vinny Careswell, Brooks was named to the USA Today Sports All-USA Missouri team, as well as the Missouri Football Coaches Association All-State first team as a senior in 2017.
He rushed for 1,666 yards (averaging 151.5 yards per game) and 21 touchdowns as a senior, while he collected 556 receiving yards (a 23.2-yard average per game) and 10 touchdowns, and also totaled 262 return yards and a score.
A two-time first-team all-conference and all-district pick who also was named to The Kansas City Star All-Metro team, Brooks was invited to play in the Blue-Grey All-American game.
He also lettered three years in baseball, earning a pair of all-state honors, and four years in basketball, picking up two all-district accolades.
Brooks initially walked on at K-State over offers from Air Force, Idaho, Navy and North Dakota, plus interest from home-state team Missouri, but is on full scholarship by now.