Notebook: Brantley still has decision to make
Published: Monday, December 27, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.
TAMPA — Florida quarterback John Brantley still hasn't come to a decision about his future.
Following Monday's practice, the junior said he'll still sit down with his parents after the Gators (7-5) play Penn State (7-5) in the Outback Bowl on Saturday, to discuss possibly transferring.
"I haven't really discussed it with my parents yet," Brantley said. "I'm really concentrating on playing this bowl game and playing the best against Penn State as I can."
Brantley, who received a heavy amount of criticism during the season, said shortly after new Florida coach Will Muschamp was hired that he was excited by the chance to play in the more pro-style offense Muschamp intends to run, but would still think about transferring.
According to NCAA rules, Brantley would not be eligible to transfer to another Football Bowl Subdivision school because he has less than two years of eligibility remaining. The same is true about transferring to a Football Championship Subdivision school, unless Florida granted Brantley a written release agreement stating UF didn't object to Brantley receiving an exception to the transfer residence requirement.
Because Brantley has spent no prior time at a Division III school he would be immediately eligible to play if he decided to transfer to one.
While Brantley remains unsure of his plans, his teammates are confident he'll return to UF.
"I think Brantley's going to stay," said redshirt sophomore receiver Omarius Hines, who has had numerous conversations with Brantley lately. "I really think so."
Fellow receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. agrees after speaking with Brantley as well.
"From my standpoint, he's going to be here until he graduates," Hammond said.
Hines said Brantley's thoughts of transferring arose when Urban Meyer announced his resignation. Hines said many players felt the same way early, but have cooled since then.
"It went through everybody's mind because I know it went through mine," he said.
For now, Brantley considers himself a part of Florida's team unless things change when he speaks with his parents.
"I'm a Gator," he said. "That's what I am right now."
Demps getting healthy
A month after Florida's season ended, junior running back Jeff Demps still isn't 100 percent healthy after suffering a stress reaction in his foot in September.
Monday, Demps practiced in pads for the first time since the season ended and said he felt "85 percent" healthy.
"It's feeling a lot better," Demps said.
Demps said he doesn't anticipate playing any more during Saturday's game than he has since he was first injured.
Fortunately for Demps, his cuts and push offs trigger less pain.
"Hopefully it'll hold up," he said.
Once Demps is done with football season he'll jump right into track practice, which will begin for him on Jan. 3. The reigning national champion in the men's 100m dash hopes to begin on the third, but won't start practicing until his foot is healed.
"If my foot's not healthy, I'm not going to push it," he said.
At least four players, including one regular starter, will miss Florida's bowl game after undergoing surgery this month.
Starting junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (right shoulder), senior offensive lineman Maurice Hurt (right knee), senior defensive lineman Lawrence Marsh (right hip) and senior defensive lineman Terron Sanders (right shoulder) will all be held out of the Outback Bowl.
The good news for the Gators is that UF team spokesman Steve McClain said no players have been ruled academically ineligible for Saturday's game.
Hammond's scholarship situation
After losing his scholarship because of a DUI arrest in June, Hammond is still unsure what his scholarship status is for the spring.
Both Meyer and Hammond said earlier this season that a decision will be made after the season about whether he'll be put on scholarship or not, but as of Monday there has been no conversation about it.
"We still haven't spoken about that," said Hammond, who paid his own way through the fall semester at UF.
Hammond said a decision will be made after school begins Jan. 5, and believes that Meyer, not Muschamp will decide his fate.