Gators conclude spring as John Brantley officially takes over in post-Tim Tebow era
After patiently waiting in the wings, Florida quarterback John Brantley officially took over the starting job in Saturday's Orange and Blue game.
The redshirt junior was 15-of-19 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, setting a spring game record for completion percentage (.789).
"I feel like it's my huddle now,'' Brantley said. "I definitely do. That's what I've been working on with that leadership, being more vocal in the huddle.''
It is the first time since 2006 that former quarterback Tim Tebow has not been on the field in a Gator uniform, which Brantley admitted was a little odd.
"It did (seem strange), but I'm just trying to be myself out there and do what I can do and get my ball to the playmakers and watch them do great things with the ball,'' Brantley said.
Brantley opened the game with a 47-yard pass to Deonte Thompson that set up the Blue team's first touchdown.
"It's easier to get the jitters out just be able to throw it as far as you can, have no touch on it, just throw it because Deonte Thompson is pretty fast and no matter how far you throw it he's going to run underneath it,'' he said. "It was just fun to let loose for one time, just get everything out of you.
Freshman quarterback Trey Burton also had an impressive debut.Burton was 12-of-18 for 120 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also set a new Orange and Blue record for longest run from scrimmage with a 76 yard run that set up a touchdown.
"No one really knew if I was live or not,'' Burton said. "I didn't know if I was live. Offensive line, obviously huge hole, and I ran as fast as I could until they blew the whistle.''
UF coach Urban Meyer said both Burton and Brantley will see action this fall, and quite possibly quarterback/tight end Jordan Reed, too. Meyer said he liked what he saw from Burton.
"I thought Trey Burton threw much better than he has all spring,'' Meyer said. "Coach (Scot) Loeffler is doing a terrific job with him. From the first day of spring to the spring game he's very, very improve, and that's all we ask. He's still not a great thrower, but they said that about Tebow when he came out of high school, too, and he did okay.''