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