DT Brantley now a soft verbal to UF, will take visits

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Caleb Brantley let Facebook know what was on his mind Monday.

And there weren’t any Gator fans that liked his status.

The Florida defensive tackle commit announced he is now a soft verbal and unsure about his decision.

Brantley pledged to the Gators back on Jan. 28, but in hindsight he says it wasn’t the ideal situation for him.

“I feel like I made the right choice, I just did it in the wrong way,” said Brantley, the nation’s No. 2 DT on ESPN. “I rushed my commitment and I didn’t really take my time.”

Brantley is UF's highest ranked commit in the ESPN150 (No. 18)

At the beginning of his recruitment, Brantley initially wanted to see several schools and decide later in the process. But the Junior Day visit to Gainesville with his family changed his plans.

“Everything just kind of fell into place on that trip,” he said. “I had a lot of family members with me and we’re all Gator fans. So obviously we loved the coaches and the school, and once everybody was on the same page I just went ahead and committed. But when I look back on it now, I feel like I shouldn’t have done that. And even if I didn’t, I’d probably be committed (to UF) by now anyway to be honest with you. But I still should have waited.”

Florida remains the leader for Brantley and is recruiting him harder than any other school, but he has doubts about the depth chart that he wants to address with UF defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Bryant Young.

“The depth chart is my main concern,” Brantley said. “I just need to see what the roster looks like in the fall and get some questions answered by coach Quinn and coach Young. I want to make sure I can get early playing time because I don’t want to sit on the bench my freshman year.”

Looking at the numbers, Brantley shouldn’t have that issue. Florida has seven scholarship defensive tackles for 2012, assuming that either Dominique Easley or Sharrif Floyd will play end. One or both of them could leave early for the NFL after next season, and seniors Nick Alajajian and Omar Hunter will be graduating.

So if the Gators don’t add another defensive tackle in the 2013 class, which they may not have room for, Brantley’s position will have five players at the most when arrives on campus and two of themĀ (Damion Jacobs, Easley/Floyd) would be seniors.

Brantley has spoken about everything with UF coach Will Muschamp, who is confident he will keep the 6-foot-3, 302-pounder.

“He knows where I’m going with this and he’s on board with my decision,” Brantley said of Muschamp’s reaction. “He just told me to make sure I inform him on everything. But he knows I’m a Florida man, so he isn’t really worried.”

The Crescent City prospect is looking forward to traveling outside of the Sunshine State and taking all five of his official visits. However, he doesn’t expect to be flipped on those trips.

“I’ve never been out of the state, so I want to see what else is out there and what other schools can offer me,” said Brantley, who is considering Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Miami and USC. “But I don’t feel like it’s going to change how I feel about Florida. For me to decommit, it’s going to take a lot. On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 9.5.”

Photo by 247Sports

33 COMMENTS

  1. I hope Caleb realizes that he definitely will not be playing as a freshman at Alabama, and that Miami is a waste of time (their program is not as good as Florida’s). He should also realize thathe will be learning from an NFL coach if he stays at Florida, and no other program will support him and help him like UF. As for USC, their coach used Tennessee for personal gain and left UT’s program in disarray when he jumped ship after just one year to coach at Southern Cal. Nobody with any character would want to play for USC (for this reason). Anyone who flips to FSU was never a Gator – no true Gator would even consider doing this. Stay and play for UF – this is by far the best decision, and is a “win-win” strategy Caleb will never regret!

  2. You are either a Gator or not! Why does all the guys that Saban gets understand that they may not play for a year or 2 ? That’s how it is in college ball, you are stepping up into the deep end of the talent pool son! We want a talented, confident guy coming in, but not whining,pre- ma- dona babies! Get your head out your a$$, come to grips that you bleed blue & orange or get to steppin!

  3. He doesn’t want to SIT the bench as a freshman!!! Take your ego to BAMA and set the bench for 2 years sport. This is the SEC and you have to bring your “A” game every day-every play. Be a GATOR or be GATOR-BAIT.

  4. I keep telling people to quit paying so much attention to “commitments”. Who cares if a 17 year old kid commits? Most of these kids apparently do not know what the word commitment means. If you get a “commitment” a week before signing day, that may mean something but a commitment almost a year before signing day means nothing when at least 50% of the kids you are dealing with a boneheads anyways. The vast majority of these kids couldn’t even get in to UF if they weren’t playing ball.

  5. For someone ranked as the #2 DT in the country, he sure doesn’t have a lot of drive. Coach Boom has always stated the best players will play. If Brantley doesn’t think he can beat someone out to EARN his playing time, he has a lot of learning to do before committing to any program.

  6. Caleb, go, see the country, we know your friends have been telling you how you missed a great chance to go and see places for free! Enjoy it then come back home where you belong and your family will be able to come watch you play.

  7. Geez…ease up guys! Did you read the part that said he has NEVER been out of state? If I was a 17-year old and I had a shot at free cross-country travel and rock star treatment, I sure as heck would jump at it. I’d rather him have some travel experience before his first road game anyway. Like he said, he made the right decision, but he did it the wrong way. Enjoy your trips, son! Just be sure to let all their empty words fall on deaf ears.

  8. Everybody calm down. I admire this young man for being mature enough to be honest and admit he rushed his descision. He indicated all through the post that he is in love with the Gators and is still solid but wanted to take advantage of seeing places that he might not otherwise see. He sounds very intelligent if you ask me. He will be a Gator come signing day and Muschamp knows it. He just want to enjoy this time in his life which doesn’t happen all the time or to everyone. Go Brantley!! We’ll Se you when you get to campus with the rest of this stellar class!!!!

  9. WOW i don’t want this kid like really???I don’t wana sit on the bench all u want is attention that y u r saying this bullshit n please go find sum where else WE WANT TEAM PLAYERS!!!NOT ME ME ME ME ME ME

  10. Listen, when you live in a hole like Crescent City, you want to go and see what is out there. Free trip to Cali…I’d go too. he won’t sniff the filed at Bama or FSU as a freshman so if the dept chart is his concern he might as well scratch those two now. Caleb, go see southern Cal, Oregon, maybe even Austin and Notre Dame, then come on back and play ball an hour and 15 minutes from home so all your family can see you PLAY.

  11. You people criticizing this kid for wanting to look at other schools need to learn a little about life. I don’t blame him for wanting to take advantage of the benefits that come with being a top prospect. He’s going to be a Gator, so, let him go have some fun. If playing time is an issue, he might as well delete Bamer and FSU from his list. FSU just signed a boat load of talented DL, as did Bamer. It wouldn’t hurt for him to visit those schools and get a little intel. He can recruit other guys to come to UF, as well.!

  12. Maybe we are making too much of this.

    BUT, recall a few months back when the Gators were in serious contention for five great athletes? It must have been in late Janurary or early February.

    We got ZERO.

    We did, by accident almost, get Fowler from FSU at the last minute, but none of the five highly touted athletes that had seriously considered the Gators, signed with us.

    I don’t know.

    We need to pull in our share of gifted athletes that have us under serious consideration.

    0 for 5 won’t cut it.

    Still, let’s give Will and his staff time to straighten out the program.

    Meyer, whom we should always give thanks for largely being responsible for our two national championships, did leave our cupboard bare.

    We can’t ignore what he did for us on the national championships, even if some athletes were previous recruitments from former coaches.

    Still, Meyer molded them into a national championship in 2006, and on 2008 it was all his.

    He just didn’t have any commitment to us the last year or so, before he left.

  13. Most of the above comments cover the subject at hand pretty well (except for the guy who thinks this shows “mature behavior” on this kids part–sorry, Gator, but it in fact shows just the opposite!). Me, I’m sick to death of the whole idea of things like “soft commitments”, and support our Head Coach in his apparent discouraging what has elsewhere become “business as usual”–where both parties, coaches and player, are supposed to wink, smile, and each cross their fingers behind their backs.
    As for those (there’s one here) who think we “missed” on those kids who backed away from such “promises” on NSD, time will tell for them, but as many here have noted and our coaching staff agrees, in the end we want the ones who want to be Gators, who (as Coach M himself puts it) are ready to do things “The Florida Way”–and do not underestimate the value of sincerity, determination and a sense of honor to the idea of building a TEAM, a group of young men who trust and rely on each other to become more than merely the sum of their parts. It’s the difference between “good” and “great”, and will eventually mean Championships.

  14. It concerns me when a “stud” is afraid to compete. It sounds like he wants to be guaranteed something, regardless of his performance. One blown knee (his or someone else’s) changes everything.

  15. we need team players not guys who will only come if they can play immediately. He has not even committed and is already making demands, and will only come if he can be guaranteed to play as a freshman, I say kick him to the curb we do not need nor want him.

  16. Off with His Head!!! Burn Him At the Stake!!! No, Really people Calm Down, Gator Fans Can Be Crazy Sometimes. Kid Said He rushed his Commitment, and Now y’all wanna Go on a Florida Chain-Saw massacre.
    Let the kid enjoy Being a Top Recruit, He said Hes A Gator so that’s Good enough for me.

  17. BTW That’s the same reason why Josh Harvey Clemmons didn’t sign with UF. He gave a commitment to CWM and told his family he was all UF, but after careful consideration. He wanted no part of the Urban mess left at UF.

    His own Mother and Father couldn’t sway him to the mess that is now in Gainsville.

    Now Caleb Brantley has seen the Urban mess and also wants no part of it.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!