GAINESVILLE -- Former Florida quarterback John Brantley III, the father of current Gators back-up John Brantley IV, told The Miami Herald on Thursday morning that Florida's coaches and medical staff likely will not know Tim Tebow's playing status until "the middle of next week."
"They won't know until about middle of next week, to be honest with it," Brantley said. "They have to be honest with it. They really don't know right now."
Tebow must be asymptomatic for a week before he is allowed to practice. He wasn't allowed to watch television or read until today, according to Florida coach Urban Meyer.
Brantley III, who lives in Ocala, is driving to Gainesville today to watch practice. He played quarterback at UF in the late 1970s and over the last two years has constantly reminded his son to prepare each week as if he was the starter.
"Obviously, the preparation is more stepped up than it's been in the past," Brantley III said. "This is his third year and he's well aware of the situation. It couldn't be a tougher test because it's at Baton Rouge at night but he's excited about the opportunity. If it comes around, he looks forward to the challenge."
Coincidentally, Brantley III's first career start came when he least expected it. In 1977, UF quarterback Terry LeCount suffered a broken nose against Utah on Nov.19 (homecoming) and Brantley III made his debut the next week against Miami in the Orange Bowl. UF won 31-14.
Brantley III is confident his son is ready to face a similar challenge. He has only spoken with his son once since last Saturday's game.
"Here's an opportunity that has presented itself," Brantley III said. "It's what we've been talking about for two years. Your opportunity is going to come when you least expect it. And he's been preparing every week with that in mind."
A side note to this blog post: John Brantley III's brother, UF All-American linebacker Scot Brantley, had his college career ended early due to a concussion against Georgia Tech. (The second game of the 1979 season when UF went 0-10-1. UF tied Georgia Tech 7-7.) Scot Brantley, who went on to star in the NFL with the Bucs, slipped while being blocked and his head collided with an offensive guard's knee.