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April 5, 2006Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic quarterback John Brantley made a verbal commitment to the University of Texas on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder announced his decision at press conference at his high school.
"I am excited to be a Longhorn," he said.
Brantley's commitment is No. 18 for Texas in the class of 2007. He is the first pure quarterback prospect and second overall quarterback prospect as John Chiles also is expected to be given a shot at signal caller.
When the announcement was scheduled earlier this week, speculation immediately turned toward Texas, where Brantley made his last unofficial visit and the Longhorns had recently told in-state quarterback Ryan Mallett of Texarkana Texas High that they needed a decision from him or were going to move on to other targets.
Brantley chose the Horns ahead of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
Not going to the Gators came as a bit of a surprise to many. Brantley's father, also named John, played quarterback for Florida in the late 1970s and he grew up a Gators fan. Also, his head coach at Trinity Catholic was former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell.
"It's a great program and (Florida) is going to do great things under coach Urban Meyer, but it wasn't the right place for me," the younger Brantley said.
The Gators now will turn their attention on other quarterback targets. Tampa Jefferson's Stephen Garcia, Columbia (Mo.) star Logan Gray and Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central's Bryan Mann all have been mentioned as potential Florida quarterback targets beyond Brantley.
Brantley, a pre-evaluation Rivals100 selection, threw for 2,835 yards and 41 touchdowns in leading his team to the state title in 2005.