One of the all-time Gator greats is joining Gator Country! Scot Brantley, one of the greatest linebackers in Florida history and a nine-year NFL vet with the Tampa Bay Bucs, has joined the Gator Country team. Scot will be writing a weekly column starting in the next couple of weeks and he has agreed to be part of our “Coaches’ Corner” in the fall in which he will break down games and tell you why the Gators succeeded or failed, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m so happy to be part of the Gator Country team,” said Brantley on his talk radio show (ESPN 1470 in Tampa) Wednesday afternoon. “Gator Country’s the best place to get Gator news and I’m happy they want me to be a part of their team. I’m really looking forward to being able to bring something to the table that will help Florida fans and what better place than Gator Country?”
Gator Country publisher Raymond Hines said he is ecstatic to have Brantley joining an already impressive lineup of writers and analysts that promise to make Gator Country the top college sports website in the country.
“Scot is one of Florida’s greatest players ever,” said Hines. “This is one of the great days for Gator Country that we can have an analyst like him working with us. We’re going to try to utilize his unique skills in breaking down a game and making it easy to understand.
“I think a lot of people see games and wonder, why did that work? Why did that not work? Now we have Scot on board and he’s going to help explain it to everybody so I think that’s going to make the whole Gator game experience a whole lot better for everybody.”
Brantley was one of the greatest high school linebackers in Florida history at Ocala Forest, where he led the Wildcats to two straight state championships. As a junior he is also remembered for a bottom of the seventh inning game winning home run at Tinker Field in Orlando that won the state title for the Wildcats.
He also He was a two-time Parade All-American, personally recruited by coaches such as Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Vince Dooley, Frank Broyles, Joe Paterno and John Robinson. The subject of an intense recruiting battle, he decided that his heart had always been in Gainesville and he was a Gator. He signed with Doug Dickey and the Gators, started as a true freshman and went on to make first team All-SEC two years in a row (1977-78).
“Scot had the greatest game I ever saw a high school player have,” said Gator Country Managing Editor Franz Beard. “The only game his team lost in two years was a 7-0 loss to Leesburg when he was a senior at Forest. Scot had 25 unassisted tackles and 12 assisted tackles in that game. Leesburg ran the wishbone and Scot was sideline to sideline. He was a tackling machine.
“He went on to have a great career at Florida and in the pros. He was one of the hardest hitters and smartest players on the field I ever saw. He will bring that analysis to our website and he’s going to share things with our fans that will give us more insight than you will find anywhere on the web about a college team!”
In Florida’s second game his senior year, Charley Pell’s first as the Florida coach, Brantley suffered a severe concussion in the second game against Georgia Tech and he missed the rest of the season. At first it was thought to be a career-ending injury but Brantley recovered, was drafted by the Bucs and he went on to have a great pro career.
Brantley has worked as a radio analyst on the Tampa Bay Bucs and Florida Gators networks and he does pre-game analysis on the Gator Radio Network in the fall.