Caleb Brantley’s recruitment was full of drama. With an early commitment in 2012 to the Gators, Brantley threatened to take visits, threatened a de-commitment, actually de-committed, only to re-commit to Florida a few days later. Ultimately, Caleb Brantley’s recruitment was worthy of an Emmy in “Top Dramatic Performance.”
While you cannot blame a young man for wanting to take visits and be sure of his commitment, Brantley comes to Florida with a few questions surrounding him.
To couple his roller coaster of recruitment, Brantley had a roller coaster of opinions about his ability and effort on the football field. Some lauded Brantley during some games and combines for dominating offensive linemen and exhibiting a high motor. However, during some games and combines, Brantley was called “lazy” and a litany of questions regarding his work ethic arose.
But, there is no doubt Caleb Brantley has the ability. Brantley was rated a 4-star defensive tackle, participated in the Under Armour All-American game and participated in “The Opening”.
With all of those questions, let’s look at Brantley’s tape.
At 6-foot-3, 304-pounds, Brantley has the size you are looking for in a prototypical defensive tackle. Brantley displays both strong upper and lower body strength. He possesses a full frame from his shoulders to his feet and can still fill out his fame even more. Brantley will come into the University of Florida with a solid base for Strength and Conditioning coach Jeff Dillman to work with.
Brantley does display quick feet and is explosive out of his stance. He is able to use that speed to overpower the offensive lineman and gain leverage and break through the line to cause a disruption. His explosiveness is probably one of his best skillsets and one that, coupled with his size, makes him a top-level prospect.
Brantley consistently displays good hand placement and pad level. Brantley also has a good swim move and is able to get past linemen with his brute strength and solid movement. Furthermore, he seems to have a good eye in understanding plays and making adjustments to disrupt accordingly. Finally, Brantley tackles well. He wraps-up and drives through the ball carrier or quarterback.
However, Brantley does need to improve his work ethic. Countless times during his recruitment, scouts called Brantley out for a lack of effort. While giving 100% effort at a camp may be difficult at times, when you consistently are called out for a lack of effort there is a bigger problem at hand.
No doubt, Brantley has one of the best tapes in the class of 2013. He is one of the best prospects on video, has the tools and the size to be a great player. However, the intangibles (effort, maturity, etc.) are just as important to excel in college football. It will certainly be a case where time will tell with Brantley.