In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a player with a perfect Miami mentality who will add an edge to the Tight End room: Miami (FL) Northwestern TE Khalil Brantley.
Every cycle, there are a few kids who want nothing more than to be Hurricanes. Some have the skill to play here, others don’t. But one of the ones who does is Miami Northwestern TE Khalil Brantley.
A starter on the Bulls’ 2019 State Championship team, Brantley is a brash, outspoken player with the performance to back that bravado up. Brantley had 28 catches for 626 yards and 8 TDs for the State Champion Bulls as a great interior (and sometimes exterior) passing option for Northwestern. And while he was doing work on one side of the field, teammate and fellow Miami signee WR Romello Brinson was going for 834 yards and 8 TDs on the same offense.
Like I said, Brantley has always been All-Miami. It’s in what he says. It’s on his social media. He’s made no secret of the fact that he’s a major Miami Hurricanes fan, and the Canes were his dream school for college.
But, Brantley learned that football is a business. While other teams offered early, Miami did not. That was in spite of the fact that Brantley had attended multiple camps and recruiting events, and taken multiple unofficial visits with his Northwestern team and solo over the course of a few yers. So Brantley followed the footsteps of several other SoFLA players in recent years and initially committed to Kyle Whittingham and Utah Utes.
Following Northwestern’s 2019 State Championship, and the statistics Brantley posted along the way, a dream came true: Miami offered Brantley a scholarship at the February 3rd Junior Day.
For his part, Brantley played it cool. He waited 4 days to decommit from Utah and another day to complete the flip and commit to Miami. But let’s be real: the moment Miami offered, Brantley was a Cane. And, if you listen to his words or read his social media, Brantley’s always been a Cane. He just needed the offer to make it official.
On the 247sports composite, Brantley is a 3-star prospect, the #41 TE nationally in this class, #105 in the State of Florida, and #800 recruit overall.
Brantley committed to Miami over Kentucky, Oregon, and Tennessee from a list of 13 scholarship offers from around the country.
As A Player
At 6’2” 205lbs, Brantley is built a bit more like a receiver than tight end at present. But he has the frame to get a bit bigger in college, and that added weight will do him good at the college level.
Brantley is slow for a receiver (where he started his career as a sophomore), but has good speed for a Tight End. He’s not gonna break Vernon Davis’s combine record for fastest 40 time by a TE or anything, but he has more than enough speed to be an effective weapon down the seam for the offense.
Brantley will need to develop as a blocker at the next level. This is typical of most Receivers and Tight Ends so the path forward is a well-used one. Brantley has a willingness to block, and that’s the first step toward becoming a good blocker.
Like many Tight Ends who are primarily receiving options, Brantley does most of his work from the slot, with a sprinkle of outside added in. He could refine his route running a bit, but he’s otherwise solid in that area. Brantley also shows the ability to go up over defenders and catch the ball on fade routes, which demonstrates his athleticism.
- Pass catching
- Championship pedigree
- Average speed
- Muscular development
Note: changing this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player.
Miami runs lots of 2 TE sets, so there are snaps to be had. To have them, however, Brantley will need to develop physically and as a blocker.
With 5 TEs ahead of him in the pecking order (6 if superstar Brevin Jordan returns for the 2021 season), Brantley will be a longterm prospect for the Canes’ roster. Limited snaps and a redshirt as a freshman are likely, followed by competition for reps in the years to follow.
Brantley is a great complimentary player at Tight End. He probably won’t be the star, but the #2 TE in Miami’s offense normally has more impact on the game than many starting TEs elsewhere in the world of College Football.
Another 4 or 5 year player for the roster, Brantley should be a great fit for the locker room, and a rotation contributor for the Miami offense down the line.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.