Brantley Takes Advantage of Opportunity

With 13:38 left in the third quarter, the Florida Gators backup quarterback John Brantley entered the game. From then on, it was a preview of what's to come next season. With senior quarterback Tim Tebow leaving after the season, Brantley will take over the reigns in 2010, and the future looked promising after his performance in the Gators 62-3 rout of FIU on Saturday.

John Brantley has spent the last three seasons backing up Tebow, and he has used that time to learn from one of the game's best.

"I've been waiting for three years now, but you know what, I've just learned so much and I've taken it all in these three years," Brantley said. "To sit behind one of the greatest players in college football is a blessing to me."

Besides developing as a quarterback, Brantley has taken that time to learn how to become a leader and how to handle himself on the field.

He made sure to take notice of how Tebow played the game and led his team as an example.

"He's a heck of a leader. Everyone respects him. He's always going to go hard," Brantley said. "That's what I've learned the past three years: How to be a leader and how to go hard no matter what."

Brantley showed much more than just leadership and a hard work ethic on the field.

The redshirt sophomore came to throw three touchdowns on 9-of-13 passing for 146 yards.

Each of his touchdown throws were to different receiver, all of who are returning next season and will likely be his top targets.

He started with a 20-yard score to Omarius Hines, then hit Justin Williams on 16-yard touchdown and finished it up with a 31-yard pass to Frankie Hammond Jr. on fourth and 11.

"Ever since day one, we've always been together on the second-team, and I've been trusting them more and more every game," Brantley said of his relationship with the receivers.

Even though the play was called back because of a holding penalty, Brantley flashed some running ability that many didn't think he had.

He got around the defense and scrambled for 13 yards before finally being tackled.

"I don't know what happened there, but I just got around the corner and realized I was still up, so I just kept going," Brantley said.

With three tougher games remaining, this probably will be the last Brantley gets to play this season, but the game action reminded him what is awaiting him next season.

And that has been something he has been patiently waited three years for.

"It's always what I've dreamt about — being a starter at the Florida — but I have definitely thought about that (next year it is going to be my team)," Brantley said.

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