By now, the Gator Nation has heard that quarterback John Brantley is contemplating transferring from the University of Florida. After the season he experienced, who could blame him for weighing his options?
Before the 2010 season started, most thought that head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would make the necessary changes to leverage the strengths and minimize the limitations that John Brantley brought to the table.
Many remembered how Coach Meyer and, then offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen tweaked their version of the spread offense for former starting quarterback Chris Leak. They still employed the spread offense, but created and called plays that were more in line with Leak's abilities.
Therefore, why wouldn't Gator fans believe that they would do the same thing for Brantley.
Well, I'll give you three guesses, but the first two don't count: Steve Addazio isn't Dan Mullen.
What the Gator Nation witnessed during the 2010 season was what Urban Meyer described as "broken": an offense that had no idea what to do with Brantley. Not only did the Gators stink up the joint with their offense, but wasted John Brantley's entire redshirt junior season.
Now Brantley is at a crossroads; should he transfer or stick around and rely on new head coach Will Muschamp's proposed pro-style offense?
Remember that Brantley originally committed to the Texas Longhorns before switching to the University of Florida. Before Coach Meyer's resignation announcement Brantley stated that he was sticking it out and remaining a Gator. Now rumors are circulating that Brantley is rethinking his future with the team.
Should Coach Muschamp attempt to save Brantley as the Gator's starting quarterback?
If Muschamp employs a pro-style offense, then Brantley may be his best option at running it when the 2011 season starts.
The Gators are expecting Jeff Driskel, a five-star recruit out of Oviedo, Fla. to sign with this recruiting class. The Gator Nation was relieved when Driskel agreed to stay with Florida after Meyer's resignation, but to expect him to start immediately upon arrival his true freshman season is unrealistic.
There is Trey Burton and Jordan Reed, two players that saw time at quarterback, but are more spread-system quarterbacks at best. That leaves John Brantley for Coach Muschamp's 2011 team.
Some will argue that Brantley struggled this season and he isn't worth the trouble of saving. If Muschamp was sticking with the spread offense, I would possibly agree. However, in a pro-style offense, Brantley's true talents as a pocket quarterback could be leveraged and he may actually thrive.
John Brantley was misused and abused during the 2010 season, in my humble opinion, and one couldn't blame him for transferring out after what he went through this past season. However, in the right system, with the right coach, a good offensive line and wide receivers that can actually run routes and catch the ball, John Brantley would be a good and potentially great quarterback.
Not only does John Brantley owe it to himself to stick it out, but the Florida Gators owe it to him to save his collegiate career. It's up to him to make the decision, but I personally hope he stays.
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