South Carolinian Brantley On Illini Radar

The spread offense requires talented and athletic wide receivers to be successful. As the wide receivers coach, Kurt Beathard knows this better than anyone else. South Carolinian Jaquan Brantley is a target identified by Coach Beathard as someone who could help the Illini.

The Marlboro County High School Bulldogs went 10-4 last season under head coach Dean Boyd. The South Carolina school went 7-1 at home and made it to the fourth round of the state playoffs before losing to Myrtle Beach 51-50. Despite losing a number of starters from last year's team, Jaquan Brantley feels good about the upcoming season.

"Although we went 10-4 last year, I think we'll be better next year. We return a lot of our offensive line. I played wide receiver for my team this past season. My hands are the best part of my game, but I would like to work on my blocking."

The success of the Bulldog football team, which is quarterbacked by Illini target Elliot Alford, has paved the way for Brantley to receive some scholarship offers.

"North Carolina State and Illinois have offered me."

Besides the two schools that have offered, North Carolina and Georgia Tech are also expressing interest. Regardless of the school, they all want him to play one position.

"Yes sir, both schools want me to play wide receiver."

Though he lives in South Carolina, he favors a school from the state to the north.

"I grew up a fan of North Carolina."

Illinois was Brantley's first offer, and he is in consistent contact with the Illinois staff.

"I talk to Coach Beathard on the phone every once in awhile, but I also get email and letters. I've seen Illinois on TV, and I think it would be cool to play for them."

Though Illinois is halfway across the country, Brantley is not opposed to the idea of being far from home for college.

"I would like to stay close to home, but if there's a school that I really like, then I'll go there."

The 5'-10", 170 pounder is planning to make use of his summer to visit both of the schools that have offered him.

"Yes sir. I'm going to a camp at North Carolina State and then I'm going to try to make it up to Illinois for a camp."

Brantley is taking the SAT next month and reports a 2.9 GPA.


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