Florida Gators Football: Is QB John Brantley Considering Transferring?
Florida quarterback John Brantley assured everyone in November that he was firm in his commitment to the Gators and wouldn't be exploring the possibility of transferring.
"Those are all rumors," he said on Nov. 15, according to theOrlando Sentinel. "I'm a Gator through in and throughout. I always will be a Gator. I love this place, and no regrets at all."
Now, one month later Brantley has changed his stance in the wake of Urban Meyer's decision to leave Florida and the hiring of former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as his replacement.
"We’re just going to sit down and talk about it," said Brantley. "That’s as much as I know, that’s as far, that’s what’s gonna happen."
Here's the breakdown of the situation and what might happen as a result.
Why Would Brantley Transfer?
Muschamp announced in his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he will be changing the team's offensive strategy from the spread offense to a pro-style offense and appears that might be one of the main factors involved in Brantley's indecisiveness.
"I mean this definitely changes a lot, but we're going to have some conversation and figure this thing out," Brantley said after Muschamp's introduction.
What's odd though is that Brantley is much more of a drop-back passer who never appeared comfortable in an offense styled for a dual-threat passer with a skill-set like former quarterback Tim Tebow.
It also should be noted that both Brantley's father and uncle played for Florida and family pressure might have been the reason the former Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2006-2007.
Where Would Brantley Go?
Of course if Brantley does decide to transfer he would likely have to sit out a year due to NCAA rules, but that might be something he's willing to do considering that Florida was not his first choice of schools.
Brantley was originally committed to Texas back in 2006 before decommitting in late December and quickly joining up with the Gators.
At the time, there was a lot of speculation that his family was the driving force behind the decision.
If Brantley were to opt for the transfer route, Texas would likely be his first option; especially considering that Garrett Gilbert struggled as the Longhorns quarterback in his first season as the team's starter.
Alabama, South Carolina and Florida State were all options back in 2007 as well.
What Would It Mean For The Gators?
For Florida losing Brantley could but the Gators in a bit of a bind as the next quarterback on the depth chart, Jordan Reed, has just 33 career attempts and has only seen significant game-time once.
Behind Reed is Trey Burton, who might make a position switch, and Tyler Murphy; all of whom are currently freshman.
But considering that Brantley struggled so much this season, with just 2,020 yards passing and nine touchdowns and seeing a dip in production down the stretch, a change of the guard might have been in order anyway.
Considering that Florida also has incoming 5-star quarterback Jeff Driskel, the loss of Brantley might not be too significant; especially since everyone will be learning a new system.
What Would It Mean For The SEC?
As far as the rest of the SEC is concerned, as long as Brantley doesn't switch to an in-conference team, the effect shouldn't be to great.
Florida just finished it's worst regular season since 2004 and Brantley didn't do much to help the team overcome it's issues in the post-Tim Tebow Era.
With Muschamp coming in as the new head coach to replace Urban Meyer, there will already be so much change that a new quarterback under center shouldn't be too much of an adjustment in the grand scheme of things.
Now if Brantley stays in the SEC and thrives in a pro-style offense somewhere else, it will forever be a what-if situation for Florida.
Would It Effect Florida's Recruiting?
As far as recruiting goes, Florida is set at the quarterback position for 2011 with 5-star prospect Jeff Driskel.
Driskel is the No. 2 quarterback from the 2011 class and plans to enroll early and begin classes at Florida in the spring semester.
That should have him ready to go in spring practice and give him a better chance to compete for the starting job next season.
Driskel is Florida's only committed quarterback and while there's still awhile to go until National Signing Day, he's been very firm in his decision to become a Gator.
Who Wins If Brantley Transfers?
If Brantley were to transfer a few winners would emerge as a result.
At Florida, every other quarterback on the roster suddenly has the chance to be the starter in 2011 as none of them have any experience and all are relatively the same age.
Whomever would emerge as the Gator's starting signal-caller next season would be the big individual winner.
But on the other side of the fence, Texas or whomever was to sign Brantley would be smiling just as wide. While he might have had his issues this season, Brantley is still a solid quarterback with a ton of potential.
He would be a massive difference-maker for the Longhorns or anyone that gets their hands on him.
Who Loses If Brantley Transfers?
As a team Florida would be hurt if Brantley were to transfer simply for the fact that he's too good of a talent to let go without feeling like you've lost something.
Muschamp would then have the difficult decision of deciding who to hitch his wagon, and effectively his career at Florida, to.
Pick the wrong quarterback to lead your team and the pressure is on.
You have to assume the receivers corps and offensive line wouldn't be too happy either as they would then be forced to a adjust to a new passer.