Bucs' Lavonte David gets seal of approval from Derrick Brooks

Former Nebraska linebacker and recent Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-round draft pick Lavonte David has had to answer for his perceived lack of size his entire career.

But David already has the endorsement of one of the Buccaneers' legends in Derrick Brooks, who shook off similar concerns about his stature en route to becoming an 11-time Pro Bowl selection.

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"I know he's an undersized guy who makes plays," Brooks said of David, according to the Tampa Tribune. "They feel he can play well in spaces. He's a high character guy. I've heard he wants to mold his game after me. I can't wait to meet the young man."

David grew up in Miami and followed the Buccaneers during their 2002 Super Bowl season. Though the first-team All-American admired Brooks' play, he said he was not trying to live up to his predecessor's standard.

"I know a lot about Derrick Brooks," David said. "I watched him a lot at Florida State. He's a great football player, a great person as well. A lot of people are trying to compare my game with his, but you can't do that, that's one of the all-time greats. I'm just trying to make a name for myself."

David is competing to start at weakside linebacker, but he doesn't expect the spot to given to him.

"You've got earn everything you get," David said. "That's how I was brought up, since I was playing Little League football, I had to earn everything I get. That put that mentality in my head. I had that respect for those guys at Nebraska and I'm going to have the same respect for the guys here."

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