The Gators latest dominant defense tackle has emerged.
Florida’s defense has been among the best in the country for a decade regardless of who has been coach. The key component has been high-level play in the middle of the defense.
In the SEC, a line-of-scrimmage league, the Gators have produced NFL-ready lineman year after year. Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley and Jonathan Bullard are just the past few to come through Gainesville. The question this spring is “Who’s the next guy?” The answer is simple: Caleb Brantley.
Brantley (6 feet 2, 300 pounds) is coming off a sophomore season in which he came into his own by registering 29 tackles, three sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. In Florida’s defense, the interior spots – especially the nose tackle – are more about being disruptive than registering tackles. That said, Brantley’s 10.5 tackles for loss in the past two seasons is impressive. He’s learned to be more consistent and was a dominating force inside last season. Several SEC coaches told me that Brantley was a major issue last season; a few went as far as to say he was more problematic than Bullard. The bulls-eye will be on his chest in 2016 and he must up his game to match the respect. He also will need some help from others at tackle.
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This article was originally published at www.gridironnow.com