WR Thompson: Brantley is “a real quarterback”

By Adam Silverstein
March 22, 2010

Offering up the first media pounce-worthy soundbite of 2010 spring practice is Florida Gators redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson. Speaking with reporters after practice Monday, Thompson relayed this gem when asked about what it is like to catch balls from fellow redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley:

“You never know with Tim [Tebow],” Thompson said. “He can bolt. You think he’s running but he’ll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, with time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback.”

The last thing Gators fans want to hear from a guy who was supposed to be the team’s No. 1 receiver but ended up being its third option is that the best player in school history was not “a real quarterback.” Especially when some might question whether or not said player is a real pass-catcher, seeing as he had more drops than touchdowns (four) and only totaled 343 yards on the season.

Then again, there is what Thompson said and what he meant, which was likely that Brantley is simply more traditional than Tebow – a pro-style, drop-back passer with a stronger arm and more crisp ball – all facts.

“Things are going to get better here,” Thompson added. “Any receiver would be happy [to have] a guy like Brantley throwing the ball, spreading it around to everybody.”

Already supporting him is new wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who believes that Thompson can be his top receiver in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about him,” Azzanni said. “He knows he hasn’t lived up to the billing. That’s what’s great about him. He’s humbled. He’s let his guard down. ‘Coach, coach me. I want to catch all the balls I might not have caught in the fall. I want to run better routes. What do I need to do?’ He knows he hasn’t lived up to his billing.”

Special thanks to Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel for some of the quoted material.

Photo Credit: Willie J. Allen, Jr./St. Petersburg Times


  1. Denver Gator says:

    I can see his point as no one can really say Tebow was a prototypical QB in college. The quote seems to infer that at times it was difficult to know whether to continue a route or get ready to block which could lead to some confusion. That being said, I am sure the anti-Tebow crowd will grasp onto this quote pretty quickly. Here’s hoping that Thompson does become that number one receiver because we lost a lot of talent with Cooper and Hernandez.

  2. dlatGATOR says:

    surely noone will think that DT was talking bad about TT in any way in those comments. He simply meant that JB is a pocket passer.

  3. Rich says:

    Brady Ackerman was at practice today standing with Deonte and he tweeted this tonight” bradyack

    “I was there when deonte talked with media and he was complimenting tebow, but trying to say brantley looks to throw first, unlike Tim.”

    I think it was just a misunderstanding, no biggie. He likes Timmy but he also likes Brantley since he’s going to throw it a lot more than Superman. Remember he’s a WR, he would rather catch the ball than block every play. 🙂


  4. ufr says:

    I think Rich’s post says a lot.

    Whether he likes TT or not, Thompson believes he’s a number one receiver. This season he will get an opportunity to prove it. We believe Brantley will give us an enhanced passing attack. Thompson has to now show leadership, and demonstrate what an SEC number receiver has to do; block when necessary, run good routes and be a leader.

    Looking forward to this season…


  5. ReptilesRule says:

    I don’t see any insult to Tim. Everybody knows what he meant to UF. If I was a receiver, I would probably prefer a “throw first” QB myself. No big deal.

  6. I spoke with someone who was on-site when Thompson made those comments, and he agreed with me that it is both a big compliment to Brantley and a veiled shot at Tebow. Thompson feels he is to Brantley what Cooper was to Tebow – purely my opinion.

  7. dp says:

    Let’s not get into to this negativity…I like that he is backing his current QB…maybe it sounded funny it the bottom line is, number 15 did what he had to do when he wanted to. He (Timmy) knows that he wasn’t the prototypical “passing QB” and that is part of what made him special. He will not be offended by this and he may even like that DT is finally trying to step up his game. What else is DT supposed to do? It’s now or never for his career…either play like a number one with a straight up stud with a cannon arm for a quarterback or fade into the sunset. He HAS to build a rapport with Brantley and give him confidence and have his back…that’s what number ones do. I am positive Brantley feels that monkey on his back a tiny bit less now that someone other than us has spoken up about his skills. We all love and will love TT forever…but he is gone and now it is time for a new leader or leaders to pick it up where he left off…who’s to say where those leaders will come from.

  8. dp says:

    And Adam, as much as I love this site, it is amazing and very insightful…it’s the first place I go every day for my beloved Gators…but if you want MY opinion, sometimes it is better not to fan the fire for the good of the cause. I can see if Jo Goodman from the Herald throws his two cents in taking a jab at Deontes comments but I didn’t expect that from you. Remember you told me that these are kids we are talking about. This kid is trying to fond his way and live up to his and all of our expectations…he doesn’t need other in the Gator Nation supporting the idea that we think he is taking shots at the most favored player to ever wear the same jersey he is trying to make proud…just my opinion.

  9. On Campus says:

    Here here DP..well said

  10. dp, I’m not sure exactly where you got that I am “fanning the fire” on this topic. And you are allowed to disagree with me – no worries! – but I don’t think we disagree at all.

    Did you skip over this paragraph in the article above?

    “Then again, there is what Thompson said and what he meant, which was likely that Brantley is simply more traditional than Tebow – a pro-style, drop-back, passer with a stronger arm and more crisp ball – all facts.”

    That is me saying that what Thompson said is being taken for the inflammatory words, probably not his true meaning behind them. Nevertheless, he said them and people can infer whatever they wish – I am quite sure he will come out and clarify the statement regardless of his initial intentions. All I did was present both sides of how people could look at the statement, favoring the secondary perspective with the “then again.”

    As far as my comment above, I am recounting what someone told me who was front-and-center for Thompson’s statement. Do I think Thompson went out of his way to insult Tebow? No. Do I think he was pleased with how Tebow utilized him last season? No. Again, I have no problem with you or anyone disagreeing with me – I just don’t think we disagree as much as you seem to think.

  11. Daniel M. says:

    Much to do about nothing. If DT had said, ” Brantley is a real dropback quarterback” it wouldn’t have drawn as much attention. Let’s be honest here folks. Tim’s propensity to run probably hurt our WR development more than we like to admit. Team players keep their mouth’s shut and just ball. But I often wondered how the WR’s felt about ball distribution.

  12. dp says:

    No worries as well Adam…this site is great and the work you do for us is awesome. I just didn’t want to knock him down when he seems to be finally standing up! Looking forward to more updates…especially when the rest of the new enrollees come rolling in!

  13. Can certainly understand that position dp. Hopefully you now realize that was not my intention whatsoever. Just wanted to show it from both angles. Have a good one.

  14. Mr2Bits says:

    DT need to make sure to work on not dropping balls in stride for 80 yard td’s like he did during the Troy game last year.

    Where the hell is Debose is my biggest question? Has he not started practice yet?

  15. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Unless he comes back and clarifies his statement I think he was taking a shot at Tebow

  16. Mr2Bits, I’ve updated Debose a few times. He’s 70-75 percent healed. No need to test it yet. Has been doing some light working out.

    Drew, quite possible.

  17. ReptilesRule says:

    I can understand a little of Deonte’s frustration from last year. Lets face it, Tim would lock in on Coop and Hernandez. It was even frustrating to me. But that’s who he seemed to have the most trust and chemistry with. This is like a brand new start for DT and with a QB that he has seemingly developed a trust level with himself. I think he just went perhaps one word (real) too far in his enthusiasm. But I still don’t see any big insult or controversy here…

  18. ReptilesRule says:

    BTW, you will only see Debose in non contact work this spring. The coaches are wisely bringing him along slowly so that we will have him ready for the fall. So you all can chill…

  19. Phuq werner says:

    Am I the only one who saw D.T. drop a few passes last season, that Tebow threw his way, it’s a two way street, the QB has to have confidence in his reciever’s, and Cooper and Hernandez, were the two that Tebow could depend on, hopefully D.T. can become that for Brantley

  20. dlatGATOR says:

    he dropped two balls. im pretty sure i saw hernandez and cooper drop at least two balls last year.

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