Are You Committing...Brother John?
The Horn football recruitment has pretty much mirrored their season. Both came out of the gate strong and both are showing signs of weakness towards the end. What initially seemed as the best all around recruitment class in the history of the 40 acres has started to fizzle. 2 solid verbal recruits have de-committed and another has had to hang up the shoulder pads due to medical reasons. The light at the end of the tunnel was that the #2 rated quarterback in the nation, John Brantley, still has a solid verbal with Texas.
In the words of the bumbling idiot Lee Corso...not so fast my friend.
Our friends at Burnt Orange Nation have published a very telling expose into the mind of the Brantley clan. Reading the comments, I too have come to the unfortunate conclusion that Brantley will not dawn the burnt orange. You have to look no further than Brantley's MySpace page to see other fan bases sending their well wishes. A viewing will also lead you to believe that his desire to come to Texas is still somewhat strong. But, best intentions do not automatically transfer into results.
What does this mean for Horn fans? A lot in this writer's opinion.
I am going to commit the sin of saying that Brantley would be more of an asset to this team than Colt McCoy is. I was very impressed with Colt's play this year, but he has questions still left to answer. As much as people want to dogpile on Greg Davis for his vanilla offense, it makes you wonder just how much faith he has in Colt's abilities. While he certainly has the name, look and poise to lead this team, Colt lacks the size and arm strength to make this team competitive for national contention. Were his stats Heisman worthy? Certainly. But, when you dissect his numbers, you see that the majority of his record breaking TDs were garnered against much weaker competition. Against this year's upper echelon (Ohio St., ou, Nebraska and a&m) Colt had 5 passing TDs and 4 interceptions. He also had a 2-2 record albeit extenuating circumstances for the two losses. As easy as it is to give Colt a pass, we must remember that he was a third ditch effort after Ryan Perriloux and Chase Daniel gave the Horns a cold shoulder. He simply exceeded the expectations considering what we lost.
Mr. McCoy, I served with John Brantley. I know John Brantley. John Brantley is a friend of mine. Mr. McCoy, you're no John Brantley.
Brantley has all the tools to be a winner. He is poised in the pocket and exudes flawless execution for his three time state championship team. He also has made it clear that he wants to sit on the bench for a year learning the offense. If Colt takes the next step to realizing his ceiling, Brantley would still have two years as the starting quarterback for Texas. Matt Leinert and Troy Smith seemed to have embraced this position quite nicely.
Despite the departure of Jevan Snead, Texas will be solid in the quarterback position. Even if verbal commit John Chiles decides to take his athleticism elsewhere, redshirt quarterback Sherrod Harris seems to be a competent heir to the throne. But, Brantley provides the same threat that national title contender Tim Tebow gives Florida. Should Colt's durability or endurance come into question again, it's nice to have as many aces in the sleeve as possible.
February cannot come soon enough.