Brandon Spikes, Florida
6' 3" 245 lbs.
The Florida Gators have been blessed with great players on both sides of the ball and for the past few seasons, they have been blessed with the opportunity to have linebacker Brandon Spikes on their team. Spikes has been a solid force on defense for the Gators and will be a contributor on defense in the NFL wherever he lands.
Spikes has great size for his position and is able to take and deliver the kind of pounding that he will give and get in the NFL. He is also very aggressive and isn’t afraid to hit the ball carrier hard in an attempt to shake them up as well as dislodge the ball. He isn’t afraid to take on and work through blockers either and has the physical ability to work through blockers and make the play. His size is good as well (at 6’3 and 230 pounds) for the linebacker position. This is key for staying healthy and keeping up with bigger offensive players.
If speed is what you need then Spikes has that as well. He has good sideline to sideline speed and range and has the speed to keep up with tight ends. He is also an intelligent player who can diagnose plays and predict, at times, where the ball is going and get to the ball carrier quickly. Spikes also isn’t a let down when it comes to coverage either. He can hang tough there as well. Being able to work well in coverage also makes it possible for him to play the outside linebacker position which makes him very versatile.
Spikes is a very solid tackler and doesn’t miss too many tackles. He also doesn’t allow the ball carrier to get away once he makes contact. At Florida, Spikes was allowed to blitz at times and he was very good when he was asked to blitz.
What Spikes is lacking is the ability to be physical at all times on the field. There are times when it appears he takes a play or two off which isn’t a good thing to do at his position. While he does have good speed for his position, he doesn’t have great speed and could get burned in coverage if he has to defend against the pass or play up with a faster offensive player. He could also stand to add some weight to his frame thus making him a little bit heavier.
While at the University of Florida, Spikes received the following honors:
2008: Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist, Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist, Lombardi Award Semifinalist, Lott Trophy Quarterfinalist, Butkus Award Watch List, SEC Defensive player of the Week (October against LSU), 2008 Team Captain, Preseason First Team All SEC (Football Time), Preseason All-SEC Team (Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook), Preseason Second Team All American (Phil Steele), Preseason First Team All SEC Phil Steele, Preseason Second Team All American (Athlon), Preseason First Team All SEC (Athlon), Preseason First Team All SEC (SEC Coaches) and Preseason First Team All SEC (the Media).
2007: First Team All SEC choice (coaches and AP), Second Team All SEC (Rivals.com).
Spikes graduated from Crest Senior High School in North Carolina. While there, he was rated the number one prospect by Rivals.com, rated as the number six overall prospect by Scout.com, and a U.S. Army All American game participant.
Spikes stats while at the University of Florida are as follows:
2008: 37 unassisted tackles and 33 assisted for a total of 70. He had eight tackles for a loss, two quarterback sacks, one pass defended and three interceptions.
2007: 81 unassisted tackles and 50 assisted for a total of 131 tackles. He had 16 tackles for loss, one and a half quarterback sacks, one forced fumble, three recovered fumbles and seven passes defended.
2006: Nine solo tackles and six assisted for a total of 15. He had one tackle for a loss and two passes defended.
It appears as if Spikes is going to stay in college for his final season with the Florida Gators which should make him much more attractive to NFL scouts when he does finally come into the draft in 2010. With another year, barring any kind of injury he might suffer, Spikes should be able to increase his draft stock greatly and could quite possibly move up in the draft and be a top 10 to top 15 pick. If he would have come out this year, he would have most likely been selected somewhere between number 15 and number 25 of the 2009 NFL Draft. Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes is currently in the first round of NFL Draft Dog's 2010 NFL Mock Draft.