RECRUITING: Spikes Has Plans To Visit Florida

Brandon Spikes is a 6-4, 230 pound heat seeking missile who is a highlight reel linebacker for Shelby (NC) Crest. This four-star (by rated defender deluxe is two games into his senior season and he's making plays all over the field for a team that's long on defense but short on offensive firepower.

(Brandon Spikes profile)

Crest is 1-1 so far this year, relying on the defense to keep it in games while the youngsters on offense feel their way. The defense is doing its part, making it difficult for opponents to get the ball in the end zone, but the offense has a penchant for giving the ball away.

"We are 1-1 and we lost last week in overtime 13-7," said Spikes, who also plays some tailback on offense when necessary. "Our offense had five turnovers. Our defense stopped them and then the offense would fumble the ball on the five or six yard line. We can do it all … we can punt, (kick) field goals but we just can't score. We are young on the offensive side."

Spikes has put up some outstanding numbers of his own while leading the defense. Mostly, he's been playing outside linebacker.

"In the two games I have 19 tackles, a pick, a sack, a forced fumble, three tipped passes, and an interception," he said. "I play on the outside and sometimes I come off the end."

His interception was a read and react play where he did his assignment and came away with the ball. He has had several other chances to come away with a pick but he hasn't been able to hold on.

"I dropped in the zero, just a straight drop back," he said about the interception. "I picked up on the swing and just picked it off. I could have had four picks, but deflected two of them and one hit me in the hands. I don't know what I was doing (to not catch it). I could have had state player of the week. I won't drop any more."

Spikes is not only a very active player on the field but he plays the game smart. The combination of playing ability and heads up play is why so many of the nation's top football programs have him on their must get list.

"He's got the intangibles," explained Coach Roy Kirby earlier this summer. "He's got the nose for the ball. He just knows where things are going. He sees it one time and you come back and try to do it again against him he's going to intercept it. And he's a big time hitter."

With the September contact period for college coaches already upon us, the phone lines at Spikes house have been heating up. Not the easiest person to get a hold of for interviews like this one, Spikes explained that he is really focused in on finishing the school year strong.

"That is why I don't answer the phone a whole lot," he said. "I am trying to focus on my school work. Everything is going fine (with school)."

The phone rang early and often on September 1 and Spikes was almost taken aback at the timing of the first calls.

"I started getting phone calls early in the morning on September 1st," he said. "The first team to call me was probably (North) Carolina or Florida. Doc Holliday called me from Florida. I don't really remember what he said, I just remember looking at the phone and it was real early. It was the second day of school or something."

He hasn't pared down his list of favorites yet but is in the process of scheduling his official visit dates. He wants to take in a few big time college games for his official visits and is starting to get an idea just which ones.

"No top list, I am just going to stay open," he said. "I am setting up my visits right now. When I get all five of them set up then I will let everyone know where I am going. I will go ahead and tell you, I am coming down to Gainesville and try and take an official for the Florida State game. I am thinking about going to Virginia Tech for the Miami game."

Every time he talks about the schools that interest him, the name Florida pops up. He knows Gainesville fairly well and he says that there is a lot to like about the University of Florida.

"I like everything at Florida," he said. "I like the coaching staff, the players, the environment, and the fans. I have been down there a couple of times over the summer, but I need to go to a game so I need to take a visit."

He visited a couple of times this past summer and some thought it was to see family and friends. It seems Spikes has hit it off with a few players on the Gator team.

"I came down there a couple of times and visited some players like Chad Jackson and Chris Leak," he said. "Florida is saying I will be a middle linebacker. I have the instincts. I am real aggressive and physical, and I have speed and can run sideline to sideline. I cause problems for the offense and just make plays. I like their style of defense … they run everybody to the ball, hitting and physical."

Don't look for his announcement to come any time soon. Spikes really wants to concentrate on his season and his school work, and then he will tell everyone where he intends to go to college.

"I am probably going to take it all the way to February," he said. "I am just focusing on getting my senior year of high school over with and finish strong."

Brandon Spikes is one of the most gifted players on the recruiting board for the Florida Gators this year. His position, size, and abilities may make him the most coveted player overall on the board. The Gator staff will be anxious for quite some time until Spikes makes his decision.

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