Correction to This Article
Earlier versions of this story said Ahmad Brooks attended H.D. Woodson High School. He attended Hylton High School. This version has been corrected.

U-Va. Dismisses Brooks, Franklin

Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks played in only six games as a junior last season because of injuries.
Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks played in only six games as a junior last season because of injuries. (2004 Photo By Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks , a Washington Post All-Met Defensive Player of the Year from Hylton High School, has been dismissed from the University of Virginia football team, Coach Al Groh said yesterday. Two other defensive players, including cornerback Tony Franklin , a team captain last season, were kicked off the team as well.

Brooks's dismissal ends his college career, in which he quickly became one of the country's most talented players but then fizzled seemingly as rapidly. Brooks, whose father, Perry , was a defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, played in only six games last season because of knee, ankle and back injuries.

Brooks, who as a sophomore was named second-team all-American and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as the sport's best linebacker, is expected to enter the NFL's supplemental draft. The school announced in January that Brooks decided to return to Virginia for his senior season rather than enter the NFL draft last year. Brooks was considered a potential first-round selection after the 2004 season, but his stock dipped considerably last season because of concerns about his weight and commitment.

"There's certain things that are vital to putting your team together every year, and those things become in sharper focus and are multiplied when you're in a rebuilding circumstance as we are," Groh said yesterday during a news conference before the start of spring practice in Charlottesville. "I've decided that it's best for us to move on from these circumstances, and it's best for these players to move on."

Franklin was cited in December for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and didn't play in the Music City Bowl. Defensive end Vince Redd , who was expected to compete for a starting job after senior Brennan Schmidt graduated, also was dismissed from the team. Frankin and Redd were among four Virginia players suspended from playing against Georgia Tech last season because of an undisclosed violation of team rules.

The dismissals are another blow to a program that lost four coaches, including offensive coordinator Ron Prince and defensive coordinator Al Golden , during the offseason. The Cavaliers, who open spring practice today, must replace several of their top players, including quarterback Marques Hagans , all-American tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and linebacker Kai Parham .

-- Mark Schlabach

© 2006 The Washington Post Company