Since struggling at the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp in late April, Florida defensive tackle commit Caleb Brantley has had a chip on his shoulder.
He brushed it off this past weekend with a dominant display at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta.
The sole goal for Brantley, who was dropped out of the Rivals100 on May 29, was redeeming himself so he could once again reach the century mark in the rankings.
“I had my mind set to go get back in the Rivals100 and let everybody know that the Nike Training Camp wasn’t me,” Brantley said. “I showed them what I’m about on Saturday.”
That he did. Brantley was named the top 2013 defensive tackle of the event by Rivals.com analyst Brian Perroni.
Here was his breakdown of Brantley:
“He made sure the offensive linemen would remember his name. He had an incredibly high motor and did not give up on the play, even when the offensive linemen got in a good punch early. He won most of his 1-on-1 reps and really showed a competitive spirit. The nation’s No. 8 defensive tackle was certainly one of the best at his position on Saturday.”
What bothered Brantley even more than his decline in the rankings was the criticism he heard over the past few months. With the recognition he received Saturday, he feels his doubters won’t have much to say now.
“I wasn’t really worried about the rankings,” he said, “but it made me mad that people were talking bad about me. So last weekend was a perfect opportunity for me to prove them wrong and I did that.”
After the event, Brantley said Rivals.com recruiting analysts Mike Farrell and Chris Nee told him he would return to the Rivals100 when the rankings are updated.
“After every drill I did, people were telling me I dominated and shook my hand as I got back in line,” Brantley said. “And I saw people like Mike Farrell and Chris Nee looking at me like they were amazed. They told me afterward I’m definitely going to move back up.”
Brantley was in Gainesville earlier this month for The Will Muschamp Football Camp, and you can watch the video interview he did with Gatorsports.com HERE.