It’s a tough job, but John Brantley has to do it

By Adam Silverstein
August 17, 2010

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach put together an interesting profile piece Tuesday on Florida Gators redshirt junior starting quarterback John Brantley, covering his efforts to become a leader for the team along with the high praise he is already earning from three former players (including two family members).

Former Gators QB Shane Matthews: “He’s got more pressure on him than any player in college football history. […] I’ve been around Florida football since 1989. He’s the most talented quarterback I’ve ever seen. People laugh at me when I say that, but they’ll see. […] There are a lot of ways to be a leader. There’s a fiery way, which is the way Tim [Tebow] was after a touchdown run. Danny [Wuerffel] would throw a touchdown, say a prayer and walk to the sideline. It’s going to take the Gator Nation a while to realize this kid is going to be a leader.”

Former Florida linebacker (and uncle) Scot Brantley: “I warned him, ‘Hey, Johnny, you’re going to be an outsider going [to Texas] and trying to win the No. 1 job and take it from a Texas quarterback. Are you nuts?’ He was born a Gator, only 35 miles down the road. […] I think it does help to have the [family] name recognition. […] It’s a position not many people would touch with a 10-foot pole. I believe Tim was the greatest player who ever played the game. There are only a few people who could replace him, and I think Johnny will do it.”

Former Gators QB (and father) John Brantley III: “It’s a situation I wouldn’t want to be in. But I think it’s a situation he’ll embrace. He’s been going to Florida games since he was 2 years old. He knows what he’s taking on, and he’s ready. […] John has a phenomenal support group around him. The most important thing is he has that locker room behind him. Those guys have his back.”

NOTES OF INTEREST

» Brantley’s family hosted a barbecue for the Florida offensive line a few weeks ago, particularly to help the signal caller and his guardians bond over some good eats.

» Former Gators QBs including Matthews, Chris Leak, Doug Johnson, Kerwin Bell and Eric Kresser have been keeping in contact with and supporting Brantley.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

6 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    It’s going to be an uphill battle for John the whole season. Replacing Tebow as the starting quaterback seems almost unfair because it’s an impossible thing for him, or anyone else to do. Because it’s gonna be his 1st year as a starter, he’s gonna make mistakes. That’s an inevitability. So, it’s really gonna be our responsibility as Gator fans, not to ride him to hard when he makes a mistake. Even if it’s a big one. That being said, I believe that he is going to be an outstanding quaterback, that will lead us to victory time and time again. He will lead us to the championship, either this year or the next. Maybe both!

  2. armygator says:

    I think Brantley will be fine from the jump. Tebow will never be forgotten, but, once the season starts, Brantley is the man. I believe the only thing that can hurt us is injuries (no pun intended). Other than that, I think we will have the best team on the field, week after week and will have a shot at the title before all is said and done.

  3. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I don’t really think it’s going to be a struggle for this kid as he has the talent & maturity….he is totally different type of QB and he has a solid offensive line and weapons all around…if there is one concern for me it’s TE

  4. npgator says:

    Brantley is going to light it up! I think it is cool that the former Gator QB’s are in touch with him especially Kresser since he moved on to Marshall.

  5. OldflyerG8r says:

    I don’t think it will be an uphill battle, nor do I think JB needs to think in terms of “replacing” Tebow.

    Tim will always stand large in the hearts of Gators; but I truly believe that the Gator Nation is anxious to embrace Johnny. There is tremendous affection just waiting for the chance to be unleashed.

    John has earned his place in our hearts with his patience and his loyalty. I hope that he is ignoring any comparisons to Tim or anyone else, and just looking forward to CUTTING IT LOOSE.

  6. Gatorbuc15 says:

    OldflyerG8r;
    At the end of my post, I said that I believe Brantley will lead us to 1 or 2 championships. So, I do have a lot of faith in the guy. I believe he will be one of the best Gator quaterbacks of all time.

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