3. John Brantley
This is where it all started to go southward for the Gators’ signal callers. 2006 Gatorade National Player of the Year John Brantley completely busted in college. Brantley was deemed the heir apparent to Tebow in Gainesville and underwhelmed as his eventual successor.
He played sparingly in 2008 and 2009 backing up Tebow. Perhaps former head coach Urban Meyer’s biggest mistake in Gainesville was picking Brantley as Florida’s next starting quarterback over Cam Newton. Ouch!!!
Brantley would go on to start for the Gators in 2010 and 2011, but could not live up to the hype of being Tebow’s replacement. His first year as the Gators’ signal-caller in 2010 coincided with Newton winning the Heisman while quarterbacking the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated National Championship over the Oregon Ducks.
In four years at Florida, Brantley completed 61.7% of his passes for 4,750 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. Statistically, he was worse as a starter in 2010-11 than he was as Tebow’s backup in 2008-09. Brantley barely eclipsed 2,000 passing yards in a season as an upperclassman.
Florida’s history is completely different if Meyer went with Newton over Brantley. Brantley is a reminder of all the things that could have been but wasn’t with the Gators at starting quarterback.