LSU safety Greg Brooks has surgery to remove brain tumor

LSU safety Greg Brooks Jr. (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

LSU safety Greg Brooks underwent emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor, his family said in a statement.

Brooks missed Saturday’s game vs. Mississippi State due to what Tigers head coach Brian Kelly called a “medical emergency.” Kelly said Brooks would be out indefinitely and did not offer more details, but the Brooks family provided an update on Wednesday morning.

According to the family, Brooks was found to have a “large” brain tumor. The mass was successfully removed, but the family is still waiting for biopsy results to determine the next steps.

“Greg Jr. was diagnosed last week with a large brain tumor that required emergency surgery. Doctors successfully performed the procedure Friday to remove the mass, and we are awaiting biopsy results,” the statement reads. “We are grateful for the work and care of the medical staff helping Greg through these challenges and for the concern and love poured out by so many in the Louisiana, Arkansas and national sports communities. This means the world to us at this difficult time.”

Brooks, a fifth-year senior from Harvey, Louisiana, is a starter at safety and a team captain for LSU. He spent his first three seasons and started 31 games at Arkansas before transferring to LSU ahead of the 2022 season. He quickly became one of LSU’s top defensive backs as the program won the SEC West in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge. In all, he compiled 66 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions on the season.

In the first two games of the 2023 season, Brooks posted eight tackles and two pass breakups before missing LSU’s Week 3 matchup with Mississippi State in Starkville.

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

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman, who coached Brooks in 2020 and 2021 in Fayetteville, spoke highly of Brooks during his Monday news conference.

“Greg was a wonderful kid when he was here and did a great job for us,” Pittman said. “I want him and his family and LSU to know that we’re concerned, we’re praying for him and and we hope that he has, whatever it may be, a speedy recovery. I wish I knew more about it, but I don’t. But I do know a medical emergency means there’s something wrong and our thoughts and prayers are with him and the LSU football team and community.”

LSU, now ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25, will host Arkansas in Baton Rouge on Saturday night.