Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 Preview: Brandon Spikes

Three months ago Brandon Spikes turned down potentially millions of dollars to return to Florida for his senior season. Spikes said he and the rest of the Gators are driven by the chance to win three national championships in four years. The word is, Spikes has been the main guy riding players in workouts and drills, saying he won't have anyone loafing around when the Gators are on a championship mission. "It's definitely a dream,'' he said. "You feel like (you've gotten) two out of four already. And all our guys were coming back, we weren't losing anybody. I'm real close with the guys on defense. And then guys like Tim Tebow coming back for their senior year, that kind of helped me with my decision. Absolutely, that's the drive for us right now.''

Mancini's Take: They're all drinking the Tim Tebow Kool-Aid down in the Sunshine State. I never heard of a player foregoing the draft just to have one more chance to play alongside his college quarterback. It's a bit weird, but refreshing at the same time. Spikes has nothing to prove as a collegiate athlete. He could've easily been a first-round pick, but he loves being a winner and Florida has all the ingredients to make another another championship run. Much like Tebow on offense, Spikes is the unquestioned captain of the defense, who sets the tone with his toughness and ability to always putting himself in the best position to make plays. Will you be cheering on the Gators with your Blue and Orange Percy Harvin jersey on, Ross man?

Mandel's Take: All of these Gators coming makes sense to me. Why not return when you're campus Gods? There's plenty of time to be an adult, plenty of time to make those NFL dollars, but you're only a college kid once. These guys are National Champions and Cap'n Timmy and the entire defense are coming back--they're rock stars who may even become more popular, if that's possible. However, once they leave the comfort of Gainesville, real life begins and they go from celebrities to the grunts who have to bring in the donuts to NFL vets. I have no love for the Gators, but also have no problem with anyone staying in school...

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media