By John Dawson, Special to Burnt Orange Nation
John is a former recruiting reporter for the Birmingham News in Alabama. You can also read John's blog at Caffeine and Irony.
Perhaps it's only natural, but Ocala, Fla. quarterback John Brantley's reaction to switching his commitment from Texas to Florida has been to attempt to disappear. On the same day his father confirmed the boy would now attend his alma mater Florida, the younger Brantley deleted his Facebook account and set his MySpace account to private.
From his Texas-themed MySpace background to Hook'em shots on Facebook, Brantley's own public face gave every indication he was solid to the Longhorns prior to today. In retrospect, one can't help but wonder if the Brantleys used a commitment to Texas to leverage some concessions from the Florida coaching staff. I don't know. Something had to change. Perhaps, as the elder Brantley told Orangebloods.com, it's all about the distance.
The aftermath? Well, first it means Chiles will now get a serious look at quarterback. Second, it means Texas will once again be in the market for a top-flight qb prospect next recruiting season. For Brantley, Tim Tebow could amount to the same roadblock that Colt McCoy would have been. But waiting around never seemed like a problem for him.
The elder Brantley assures Texas fans this was a decision the young quarterback agonized over. Fair enough. The reason verbal commitments are non-binding is because they are made with children who, sometimes, haven't even entered their senior year of high school. Naturally Brantley's decision to leave Facebook and the open MySpace community indicates he's a bit afraid of Texas fan backlash. He shouldn't need to worry - we should wish him well at Florida. He doesn't deserve the Ryan Perrilloux treatment.