San Francisco 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes was under the impression that his team would be selecting his cousin, former Florida Gators now New England Patriots LB Brandon Spikes, last weekend during the 2010 NFL Draft.
“I really thought we were going to get him in San Francisco. I thought that was going to happen. [The 49ers] really liked him,” Spikes told the Boston Herald. “I talked with our GM [Trent Baalke] and our linebackers coach [Vantz Singletary] about him several times. It didn’t work out, but I think he’s in probably just as good a position where he is now, maybe even better.”
Though he is disappointed that he will not be playing alongside his cousin, Takeo believes Brandon was undervalued and will be a great fit in New England.
“I think one of the things people didn’t see, what goes unnoticed and unseen, is the fact his presence on the field makes everyone around him better,” Spikes said. “Just talking to a lot of the Florida players, that’s some of the things they’ll tell you about him. Once he gets acclimated, once he understands what he’s doing, I’m pretty sure you’ll see he’ll have that same type of effect on that team as well.”
The Herald also reports that the cousins did not know they were related until Takeo’s father passed away in 2001 and he decided to research his family tree. In addition to sharing a number (51), the two share parental grandparents. The older cousin has all the confidence in the world that the youngster will succeed in the NFL.
“The main thing I told him was the faster you pick up [the defense], the quicker you gain the concepts, the faster you’ll be able to play,” Spikes said. “And I guarantee he’s going to do whatever it takes. He will be the first one in, and the last one to leave. He’ll be trying to find the nuances of the defense, and do whatever it takes to allow him to play faster, and prove people wrong.”
While speaking with the Herald, Spikes also endorsed former Gators now Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham.
“He can definitely pass rush,” Spikes said. “We know that from seeing him at Florida and I think he’s athletic enough to where he will be able to get it done on the outside. […] I look forward to seeing him in the NFL. One thing I would never do is lie about a football player.”
Photo Credits: Icon SMI, Cliff Welch/Icon SMI