Brantley played through a hand injury and made a big play for his team late in the game. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

This is the second profile in the Gator Prospectus series covering Florida’s 2013 in-state commits.

Name: Caleb Brantley
Jan. 28
Crescent City
Position: Defensive tackle
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 295 pounds
Scouting Report: His first step rivals that of UF defensive lineman Dominique Easley. On nearly every play, Brantley penetrates through the offensive line as soon as the ball is snapped and bursts into the backfield. He’s a disruptive run-stopper that wraps up well. Though he will be a defensive tackle for Florida, he’s playing end this year for his high school team and dropped 12 pounds over the summer to become a better blitzer. The only way to slow him down is to double team him or run/pass toward the opposite side, which most teams do when they face him. Certainly shows flashes of greatness but is still somewhat raw as pass rusher. Needs to work on his technique and add some more tools to his repertoire, but has the work ethic to improve.
For The Game:
Class 1A Crescent City hosted 3A St. Pete Catholic, which was without FSU running back commit Ryan Green (torn labrum). Brantley injured his left hand in the first half and was sidelined momentarily to get a soft cast put on. But he played through the injury and finished with three tackles for loss and two sacks, the latter coming on the game’s last possession. With his team clinging on to a 21-20 lead in the final minute, Brantley shed two blocks and sacked St. Pete quarterback Jack Sheehan on third-and-22 for what should have been the game-winning play. But on fourth-and-26, a Crescent City defender tipped Sheehan’s desperation pass high in the air and one of his receivers came down with the catch to move the chains. St. Pete went on to win 23-21 and avoid the upset on Garrett Vallaro’s 24-yard field goal with 3.4 seconds left.
Video: Click HERE for my interview with Brantley after the game.
Quotable: “When he got injured and told me he was good, I said get back in there because it does something for him mentally when he can push through things. As far as his performance, he made a couple plays. That last sack was the type of plays that I’m expecting him to make. He’s quick, he’s fast and he’s strong. He has a 295-pound power clean, 405-pound bench press and a 500-pound squat. He comes off the ball and he knocks you backwards pretty good. If you don’t got two or three guys in tight splits and bearing down on him, he’s gonna do damage.” — Crescent City coach Al Smith
Became a soft verbal in early May but reaffirmed his commitment in the summer and is now 100 percent solid; named the top 2013 defensive tackle at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June; also competed in the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp and The Opening; will play in the Under Armour All-American Game in January; ranked No. 4 positionally and No. 31 overall by ESPN, ranked No. 6 positionally and No. 90 overall by Rivals.

For a recap of the top performances in Week 2 by members of Florida’s 2013 class, click HERE.

Up next week on the Gator Prospectus: UF safety commit Nick Washington.