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I want a Do over!

Nov 2, 2010 | Up to Date with Todd

 

For the first time since 2005 and only the 4th time this century none of the big three are in national title contention. This is simply amazing to me considering that all three programs have recruited extremely well on the surface but when you take a deeper look their personnel decisions(especially UF and UM) as much as their coaching have lead to their lackluster seasons. These scenarios always leave room for the what-ifs and here are a couple decisions that I think that the involved coaches would like a do-over on.

 

                                         (Florida - John Brantley)

 

We will start with the most blatantly obvious mistake and that was the decision of the Florida Gators to recruit Quarterback John Brantley. First of all let me say that of all the great High School QBís that have come through Florida in the last decade(Xavier Lee, Tim Tebow, Robert Marve, Aaron Murray, and Stephen Garcia) Brantley was the only one that had the makings of a High NFL first round pick. Brantley had a quick release, made great decisions with the football, was deadly accurate, and has a Rocket attached to his right arm. The only problem was Brantley was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. The spread offense was all the rage in college football at that point in time and there were very few teams running the traditional Pro-Style Offense that Brantley would have thrived in. Keep in mind Nick Saban was still in Miami with the Dolphins so Alabama never really popped up on Brantleyís radar. Brantley seeing similarities between himself and Colt McCoy originally committed to play for the Texas Longhorns (In hindsight that would have been a good decision as its obvious Mack Brown intended to go back to the I-formation once McCoy departed). Hometown pressure and a great selling job by Urban Meyer eventually swayed Brantley to change his mind and attend Florida just as his dad and uncle had done before him. The results have been nothing short of disastrous for Brantley and the Gators. Brantley has been abused in an offense that exposes all of his weaknesses (if you can call them that) and plays to none of its strengths. The Gators have dropped three games in a season where some predicted they would contend for a National Title. To top off the Gators misery a QB that Brantley beat out for the back up job and forced to transfer is about to win the Heisman trophy. So I ask what if John Brantley had gone to Texas? Where would Florida be, heck where would Texas be today?

 

                  (Miami - Jeffery Godfrey/Jacari Gore/Patrick Peterson)

 

Let me start out by saying that at heart I am a FSU fan but I have rooted for the Hurricanes since Shannon arrived(accept of course when they were playing FSU) due to the fact that I wanted to see an African-American head coach be successful at a tradition rich school such as Miami. Shannon as a person has exceeded all expectations off the field in that all of his players graduate and rarely get into trouble even after they leave campus. However his tough no-nonsense attitude it can be argued may have cost the Canes the very pieces they are missing from a roster that is so very close to being elite once again. Overall Shannon has done a stellar job recruiting but there are at least 3 players that Miami couldíve and shouldíve taken that would have likely made a difference on this 3 loss under achieving team. First is Jeffery Godfrey the UCF QB and Miami native that has looked down right special early on in the season for the Knights. Let me preface my next statement by saying that I didnít think Godfrey was tall enough to play in Miamiís offense but after seeing how often Jacory Harris rolls out and is in the shotgun I have changed my mind. Jeffery Godfrey could have and probably should have been a Miami Hurricane and while Stephen Morris is going to be a very good QB, I have a feeling Shannon may regret the decision to not at least offer Godfrey the opportunity to play QB once he arrived on Miamiís campus before Godfrey is done playing. Jeffery Godfrey would have been Jacoryís Back-up this year in my opinion allowing AJ Highsmith to play Safety and at least from what I can see giving mark Whipple a mobile alternative to Harris when the time called.  

 

Yes Jacari Gore is skinny probably too skinny to ever develop into a reliable tailback at the collegiate level. However he is special in space and LSU will benefit from having the speed demon on campus for the next 4 years. Travis Benjamin and Lamar Miller are great players but I think Gore would have made plays in space that the Hurricanes have definitely needed this year. To be honest if Eduardo Clements is playing as a true freshman the canes could have found room for Gore who practically begged for an offer. Instead he could become LSUís primary playmaker in 2 years.

 

Finally we arrive at Patrick Peterson (AKA Patrick Johnson) considered to be the cornerstone of Miamiís Top Ranked 2008 recruiting class before switching his commitment to LSU. Everyone knew Peterson was the real deal from his junior year on. He is a lock down once in a decade talent that any school would have done anything to have (Iíve heard that LSU did ďa lotĒ to get him but thatís another segment). The point is that Peterson was then and is now the best player in the country and although Brandon Harris is a very good player pairing him with Peterson would have been lethal to opposing offenses. Peterson changed his commitment at the Under Armour All-American game but changed his mind before signing day supposedly due to the fact that he felt Miami wasnít recruiting him hard enough. I for one believe it was a smoke screen and Patrick intended on going to Miami all along but when Patrick Johnson reportedly called to tell the UM coaching staff he wanted to be a Cane they said that they didnít have another scholarship available. So now instead of Patrick Peterson Canes fans have C.J. Holton (who may pan out but has played sparingly to date). What if Jacari Gore, Jeffery Godfrey, and Patrick Peterson were Hurricanes? I would venture to say Randy Shannonís seat might be a little cooler than it is today.

 

Its been said that hindsight is 20/20 and it should be pointed out that there have been hundreds of decisions on players that both of these programs that have made that have turned out great for the program. However we live in a culture where the grass is always greener and it has to be painful for Gators and Canes to look at their rosters and think of what could have been.