I had a chance to sit down with No. 2 quarterback John Brantley for about 20 minutes for a story I’m working on that will run at a later date in the paper.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share these nuggets that came out of the conversation on a wet afternoon in Gainesville.
* Brantley said he is on schedule to be 100 percent for the start of two-a-days in the first week of August. Brantley underwent ankle surgery on April 27 and still wears a small brace on his right foot. Because he can’t drop and plant, he has been unable to participate in the throwing workouts with the quarterbacks and wide receivers. He said he’s been pretty limited, but that it won’t be a setback as far as getting ready for the season. He said he’s spent most of his time this offseason working out his upper body (he’s a strong-looking 216 pounds at the moment) and studying tape with No. 1 quarterback Tim Tebow. Brantley went through the entire spring knowing he needed surgery to repair a torn tendon. He said he felt, for his development, he needed to gut it out and get a good spring under his belt, which he did.
* Brantley said Urban Meyer has been true to his word. This has been the toughest offseason conditioning program the Gators have ever gone through. “Even though I can’t take part in some things, I’m exhausted after the workouts. I can just imagine how hard they are on everybody else. But no one is slacking off; everyone is working hard. It’s been a great offseason.”
* Brantley said he’s been impressed with true freshman quarterback Jordan Reed. “He’s really good,” Brantley said. “He’s got a great arm.” Reed will be the No. 3 quarterback this fall.
* Brantley said that what he can gather from the coaching staff, there will be a package of plays for him to run in every game, just like Tebow had when he was a true freshman backing up Chris Leak.
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I was like many Gator fans on top of the world when Tebow said he was coming back for another year, and will enjoy watching Tebow another season get it done for the Gators. But I am also excited about the day we get a chance to see Brantley contribute as well. I feel he is more than a quality back-up and would probably be a starter on a different team, but as a die-hard Gator lover, I’m glad he’s a Gator!
I sure hope that Jordan Reed keeps getting better, I hope he is able to redshirt but you just never know.