TRANSCRIPT: Sitting down with John Brantley

With Johnny Brantley from Ocala’s Trinity Catholic High School the Gatorade National Player of the year here at the US Army All American Bowl. Talk about the first day out here with all these guys it’s a little bit faster speed than the normal high school game isn’t it?

Yeah, definitely it’s just good to get back out here though with the pads on and be here with all these great athletes it’s an honor.

What was the biggest surprise for you today in your first day?

Really the speed I’m really not used to this. I mean everybody’s good out here and that’s what you got to know and I mean it’s awesome.

Was there a highlight play for you today that you thought hey man this is all right?

No, no not really I must say not so much today, hopefully by the end of the week though.

If there was one player that you could pick out that was on your team that you saw today that you went holy cow he’s better than anything I heard about, who would that be?

Oh the cornerback, (Eric) Berry I believe that’s his name, last name Berry. He surprised me, he’s a good cornerback I’ll give him that.

All right now you’re here with a bunch of Florida commitments too are you guys kind of hanging together and kind of getting to know each other a little bit?

Oh yeah definitely I’ve hung out with a lot I’ve know Rainey already I’m spending some time with Corley and I’ve talked to Torrey a little bit and I’m trying to work on a couple more so.

All right so this is a little bit of a recruiting trip too maybe.

Well I guess you could say that I mean everybody is talking to everybody so it’s fun.

Now everybody knows you were committed to Texas and but in the end heart won out over head. And have you gotten any ragging from any of the Texas folks since you’ve been here?

Not really not since I’ve been here, the players I was committed with earlier to Texas they’ve all been really nice really supportive wish me the best of luck. I don’t know I haven’t got to face the fans yet so it should be interesting.

In the end it was just a little bit too tough to say no to all of the things you grew up with wasn’t it?

Exactly, exactly I mean I’ve been season ticket holders since 96 and I’ve been in that stadium so many years I know so much about that program and I’m excited.

You know your dad played there your uncle is one of the greatest linebackers that ever played there you know your coach played you know one of the greatest quarterbacks there, Ricky Nattiel coached the wide receivers, J. Williams coached your offensive linemen it just seemed that everything was tilted in one direction it was kind of like who’s going to make that final tug to grab you. When you finally made the decision tell me what went on in your heart and what went on in your head?

That I made the right decision a lot off my shoulders really. I must say it was the toughest phone call I’ve ever had to make in my life to the University of Texas, they understood they took it really good they were really supportive of me and I think I made the right decision.

When was it that you knew that you had to make this switch? Was it was there a point like were you at a Florida game or something like that and you saw what was going on and you just said, “I can’t stand it anymore.”

It’s always been there for me because I’ve been there for so long but really just the distance factor really set in set home for me closer to the time. But there’s always been moments throughout my life that I’ve wanted to play there so…

32 miles beats 1000, right?

Exactly, exactly.

Now you’re going to be a Florida Gator at the end of the summer obviously.


What is the goal for the rest of this year in the months leading up to then? What are you trying to accomplish? Do you have personal goals as far as strength and weight things like that or?

Yeah, definitely, definitely get stronger get quicker get faster and I really need to gain some weight. I’m not sure if I’m going to register or not but either way I need to try to gain some weight so I can go in there and even gain some more weight because you know they’re going to put the pounds on you. So I’m really just working on every aspect of my game.

Now you’re something like between 6’3” and 6’4” and I think you’re listed at about what 190 now?

Yeah about 195, 200.

Ok so obviously you feel like with a frame you could probably carry about another 25 pounds without a lot of trouble.

I hope so.

Are you one of these guys that it’s hard to put on weight, do you eat everything in the house and you still wonder, you’re still hungry is there room for more?

There’s times where I’ll eat a lot and there’s times where I can’t eat anything, it’s weird I mean I go through my phases but over the summer I ate quite a lot and I got up to about 225 over the summer so but I lost it during football season so…

Last question, what would you say to Gator fans, what are the Gators getting in Johnny Brantley?

What you see really I mean I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but I can tell you a good things going to happen but I’m back in the Florida uniform I’m staying in Florida and we’re going to win the national championship this year and hopefully a bunch more to come.

Thanks John.

Thank you sir.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.