Brantleys Fall for Austin

Ocala Trinity Catholic's John Brantley is a five-star All-American quarterback who was quick to give his future Longhorn teammates, the coaching staff, the University of Texas campus, and the City of Austin a five star rating of their own upon his return to Florida.

"Austin is a big city," John Brantley said. "About half of it is flat and the other half is mountains. It reminds me a lot of Ocala (Florida) with the flat land and the lakes. Obviously, the mountains and the size of the city are different for me, but it's a great city. I can't say enough about it. This was just a great trip."

If Brantley were to say more- he need only to flip his cell phone and pick one of the recent entries into his contacts list.

"We all exchanged numbers," he added. "Zack Pianalto texted me today. I'll talk to Matt Nader sometimes and I talk to Tray Allen quite often. I'm sure that a lot of us will be calling each other. I met all of the linemen, six committed linemen Saturday afternoon and I met the rest of them (Texas commits) the next day in the mini-camp."

I watched Brantley and his Trinity Catholic teammates work out last month and was further impressed with his overall development. There is no question that he has added some muscle to his lower body. His mechanics are simply tremendous. Brantley (6-2 188) was the best pure passer in The Sunshine State last season and he should be the best overall quarterback in the state of Florida in 2006. Perhaps most impressive is his feel for the game, which has to make the Longhorns coachng staff very happy.

"I spent plenty of time with them (the coaching staff)," Brantley said. "It was kind of tough because they were busy during their three day camp. But, I spent plenty of time with them. I met with Coach (Mack) Brown one day for about an hour. He was out of rehab for about twice a day, so he wasn't around too much. I spent a lot of time with Coach (Greg) Davis too. After every camp, I'd go into his office and see if he was there. We talked about different things and we've built a pretty good relationship the past couple of months. It's going really good."

The Brantley family (John III and Karen) accompanied Johnny on the trip. While wearing his Longhorns hat during that Celtics workout, John III told me how excited the family was to have this opportunity. They hoped to get to know more about the city of Austin as well.

"We stayed an extra three days so that we could get an extra lay of the land," the former University of Florida two-sport (football/baseball) star said. "When Johnny and I were out there for that recruiting trip we didn't get to see any of Austin. We got together with the Nader family (Paul, Barbara, and Matt) and they were kind of our hosts while we were out there. We had dinner with them about every night and spent time out on Lake Austin. We got to see a lot of Austin, which is just a beautiful place with a different terrain. There's a lot to do there, so Austin's a neat place and we look forward to spending plenty of time there."

"We had a great time," Brantley III continued. "We picked a great week to go. They had eighteen of the twenty-one commitments participating in the camp, so it gave them a chance to hang around each other and have fun even though there was some good fun competition between some of them. They took pictures together and exchanged phone numbers and cell numbers, so from that standpoint it was great to see everybody get together. A bunch of the parents ate lunch together on Sunday, so a lot came out of it. It's just makes things much better when you get together with teammates down the road this early."

The rave reviews had to please Coach Mack Brown, who despite needing a little TLC of his own- made certain to take some time for the future with an assist from his better half.

"We didn't get to spend much time with Coach (Mack) Brown because of his knee replacement, but we had three meetings with him over the time that we were there," Brantley III stated. "We also got to spend time with Sally Brown. She met us when we got out there the first day. We got to spend quality time with all of the coaches that we needed to. The kids have already been calling each other and said that they'll continue doing so just to see how everybody's summer is going."

The BIG Texas weekend was an awfully good start for the summer. Some would even give it- five stars.

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