|No. 73, 77, 66|
|Date of birth:||April 27, 1972|
|Place of birth:||Hartford, Connecticut|
|NFL Draft:||1996 / Round: 7 / Pick 229|
St. Louis Rams
|Playing stats at
He played defensive tackle for Division III Williams College, where he was a two-time all-conference player and NESCAC defensive player of the year as a senior.
Brooks grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut. He attended Westminster a small prep school in Simsbury with a poor football record while he was there. He was not noticed by Division I-A schools. He had opportunities to play with a scholarship at Division I-AA schools. His father Alan had gone to Wesleyan and was good enough to be invited to the Baltimore Colts training camp. When Ethan graduated, Williams had a better football team than Wesleyan and the other school of the "Little Three", Amherst, good enough to be a Division 3 "power". His father encouraged Ethan to go there for both football and academics.
Ethan Brooks had NFL aspirations even then and thought Division 3 ball would not be the best route to the NFL. He wanted to go to Bucknell which had a superior football program as a Division I-AA but was still a good academic school. However, he did not think he would be accepted at Williams. Although his academics were good for a football player they were low for Williams. Nevertheless, after consulting his father and friends, he went to Williams, where he stood out in the division for his size and skill. He played on very good teams as a defensive tackle and was spotted by NFL scouts. He was also an All-American in track and field in the hammer throw. His major was psychology. He was drafted in the 1996 7th round by Atlanta, coached by June Jones, as the 229th overall pick. He began as an offensive tackle but was moved back to defense due to team injuries and then placed back on the offensive line.
When Dan Reeves replaced Jones, Brooks was sent to NFL Europe and made All NFL Europe first team as a right tackle with Rhein Fire, going with them to the World Bowl in June. However he missed the Falcon minicamps. He was not able to learn the new offense and was placed back on defense, where he was needed. He made it to opening day but was cut almost immediately and quickly picked up by the St Louis Rams where he was signed for two seasons, playing backup swing offensive tackle and on special teams in 1998. He was ready to become a starting right OT at the beginning of the 1999 season.
He met his wife Jaqueline Smith on a blind date during his first year in Atlanta. They were married in less than a year in the Spring of 1997. In the Fall of 1999 Jackie was diagnosed with nonHodgkins Lymphoma. Brooks put football on the back burner while he stayed with his wife who was having chemotherapy. He also was struggling with a back injury. He was released by the Rams and turned down offers from the Saints, Cowboys, Cardinals, and Jaguars. When the doctors pronounced Jackie in remission, he accepted an offer from the Arizona Cardinals for the 2000 season. He made the team. Jackie joined him but she was already ill with a fatal recurrence and died in March 2001. Brooks did not tell many people about the situation and was released after the end of the season. In 2001 he was a "camp body" for Denver and cut after the third exhibition game having had almost no playing time. He went back to Atlanta and then home to Connecticut. A year after Jackie's death he was ready to start training again. His trainer, Charles Poliquin was headed to Arizona and Brooks followed him and worked hard to get himself in great shape. The Ravens signed him in 2003 where he played on the offensive line as swing backup, behind All-Pro left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, and then starting right tackle. In 2003 he got a signing bonus and a 2-year contract. Orlando Brown returned to Ravens football in 2003 having recovered from a freakish eye injury as the starting right OT and Brooks went back to being a swing backup OT for Brown and Ogden. He started 23 games in 3 years with the Ravens.
After 2005 Brooks was released by the Ravens and signed with the New York Jets. They released him at the end of training camp. The Dallas Cowboys called him six weeks into the season. He played left tackle under Bill Parcells replacing injured Flozell Adams. He was released just over a month later to make room for tackle Marcus Price, which ended his NFL career.
In September 2009, he joined the staff of the Pomfret School in Connecticut as a strength and conditioning coach. He left for a similar position at his alma mater, Williams College, in 2011.