Brantley to return for senior season
Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 3:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 6:39 p.m.
After a disappointing season playing in an offense that was an awkward fit, John Brantley started looking around for an offense that would better suit his talents.
As it turns out, that offense found him.
When new Florida coach Will Muschamp hired NFL offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to install a pro-style offense at UF, that pretty much sealed the deal for Brantley. It became official Friday, when Brantley's father, John Brantley III, confirmed that his son is staying at Florida to play for Weis.
"Been a Gator his whole life and no reason to change now. Go Gators!" was the text John Brantley III sent to the Ocala Star-Banner.
Brantley did not return phone calls to The Sun seeking comment.
"This is what we would have sought if we had looked to move on, but it came to us," Brantley told the Palm Beach Post. "Johnny's looking forward to the challenge.
"Once they said there was going to be a pro-style offense, transferring wasn't even a question."
Not only is Weis known as one of the best offensive minds in football, he has a reputation for developing quarterbacks, starting with Tom Brady at New England and most recently with Matt Cassel at Kansas City. In between those two, Weis groomed two other future NFL quarterbacks at Notre Dame — Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen.
Brantley is coming off a tough junior season in which he ended up splitting playing time with true freshman Trey Burton and redshirt freshman Jordan Reed, who was also the Gators' starting tight end.
Rarely given the opportunity to throw the ball down the field in Urban Meyer's spread-option offense, Brantley completed 60.8 percent of his passes, but threw for only 2,061 yards in 13 games and had more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (nine).
Brantley will compete for the starting role this spring with true freshman Jeff Driskel, an early enrollee, and redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy. There is a good chance Reed will go back to being a full-time tight end.
Ocala Star-Banner sports writer Byron Saucer contributed to this report.