2015 NFL DRAFT
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Brandon Spikes

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 249 | College: Florida
 
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Overview

Spikes, a first-team All-SEC selection each of the past three years, wasn't the most popular quarterback in Gainesville. But he was arguably just as effective as the quarterback of the defense.

Rated the top senior linebacker in the country by BLESTO and National Scouting services prior to the 2009 season, Spikes had 307 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and six interceptions in his career. However, Spikes' production fell dramatically each of his three seasons.

In 2007, Spikes posted an impressive 131 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss. He followed that up with 93 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four interceptions -- two returned for scores -- and two sacks in '08.

Bothered by a strained groin as a senior, Spikes production fell to 68 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions.

Some of Spikes' decline in production has to do with his teammates around him developing while teams did a better job scheming to stop Spikes. While he's athletic enough in coverage and as a blitzer that some scouts feel he'll adjust nicely outside, Spikes' value lies in his versatility and explosiveness. His 5.0 40 at his pro day (didn't run at the Combine) will make teams wonder about his speed, however, and may cost him a spot in the top two or three rounds.

Analysis

Read & React: Quick to diagnose and has good speed to the ball. Has the speed to beat the back to the edge, good athletic ability and little to no wasted motion.

Run defense: Rare size and explosive punch to quickly disengage from blocks. Likes to initiate action and is physical shedding blocks. Can be undisciplined. Attacks the line of scrimmage so aggressively versus the run that he leaves cutback lanes for quick-footed runners to exploit. Can get locked up with blockers if his initial pop is absorbed. Needs to work on his use of hands to disengage.

Pass defense: Quick footwork to get depth in coverage. Very good reading the quarterback's eyes while in coverage. Breaks downhill quickly to close on the ball and arrives with attitude.

Tackling: Explosive wrap-up tackler who can separate the football from the ball carrier. Good athletic ability and balance to break down in space to make the tackle against smaller, quicker athletes. Doesn't consistently pursue with the reckless abandon normally associated with the position.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Effective stand-up blitzer. Varies his speed off the edge and uses his explosive upper-body strength to push blockers into the pocket. Good strength and lateral agility to slide off blocks and pressure the passer.

Intangibles: Suspended for one game in 2009 for attempting to gouge the eyes of a Georgia running back Washaun Ealey. Spikes was not penalized on the play, but was suspended for the first half of the Vanderbilt game by coach Urban Meyer after his film review of the play. Spikes extended the suspension, himself, to a full game in an effort to not be a distraction to the team. Voted a team captain in 2008-09 and was a member of the 2008 UF Football leadership Committee. Returned for his senior campaign despite earning a first-day grade from the NFL Advisory Committee. Good bloodlines. Cousin, Takeo Spikes, plays inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers.

NFL Comparison: Takeo Spikes

Career Notes

Appeared in 47 games with 39 starts at linebacker … Collected 307 total tackles (178 solo) in his career … Registered 31.5 tackles for loss, including 6.5 QB sacks … Forced two fumbles, recovered four fumbles and had six interceptions which he returned for 139 yards and four touchdowns … Totaled four touchdown returns off interceptions from 2008-09, more than any other player in the nation and a Florida school record for interception touchdowns in a career … Since 1996, he is one of only three linebackers in the nation to have four interceptions returned for touchdowns … Invited to participate in the 2010 NFL Combine.

2009 Season

One of three finalists for the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award and a finalist for the 2009 Butkus Award … Named a Walter Camp First-Team All-American … First-Team All-SEC selection by the coaches', and Phil Steele and Second-Team All-SEC by the AP … Also a candidate for the Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy … Finished the season tied for third among Gators with 68 total tackles (36 solo) … Returned two interceptions for touchdowns, tied for the most in the nation … Tied for the team lead with six tackles, all solo, and recorded one tackle-for-loss and one pass breakup in the Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati … Finished second among teammates with nine tackles (four solo), including one for a loss of three yards and two QB hurries versus Alabama in the SEC Championship Game … Had five tackles (three solo), a pass breakup and a QB hurry against FIU … With his interception and 41-yard return for a TD on FIU's first drive of the game, Spikes set the school record for interceptions for a touchdown.

He is also the only player in the nation to record four interception TDs in the past two seasons … Tallied three tackles, all solo, and collected his first fumble recovery of the season in the win over South Carolina … Three of his four career fumble recoveries came against South Carolina … Led the Gators against Georgia with 10 tackles (four solo) and tallied his fifth-career interception and returned it five yards for his third TD off a pick in his career … Had the most tackles among teammates with 11 (four solo), including a career-high 3.0 quarterback sacks for a loss of 14 yards in the Gators' win over LSU … Was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Tigers … Led the team with 10 tackles in the win at Kentucky … Notched four tackles (three solo), 1.5 tackles for a loss and one pass break-up in the season opener against Charleston Southern.

2008 Season

Named a consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC performer … Named a team captain for the 2008 season and was a member of the 2008 UF Football Leadership Committee … Selected as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award … One of only five linebackers in the nation with two interception returns for touchdowns last season … Two interceptions returned for a touchdown in a season tied the school record … Had four interceptions against top-25 teams, which tied for second among all players nationally and was the most by any linebacker in the country; since 1996 the only other linebackers that have had four interceptions in a season against top-25 teams were Tulsa's Michael LeDet (2004) and Michigan State's T.J. Turner (1999) … His two interceptions against LSU made him one of only 12 linebackers in the country to have two interceptions in a game this year … Starter at middle linebacker led the team with 93 tackles on the season, including 8.0 for a loss of 29 yards … Finished with six tackles in the BCS National Championship Game win over Oklahoma … Recorded seven tackles, two QB hurries and broke up one pass in the SEC Championship game against Alabama … Collected his fourth interception of the season on the first play of the second half against Florida State and returned it 26 yards, while also leading the team with six tackles … Intercepted a pass in the first quarter against South Carolina and returned it 12 yards for his second touchdown of the year … Led the Gators with seven tackles against Vanderbilt, including two for a loss of eight yards … Named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against LSU, where he had his first career interception in the first quarter … On the first play of the fourth quarter, he added his second interception, which he returned 52-yards for the first touchdown of his career, at any level … Had a streak of 11 consecutive games with a tackle for loss end against LSU … Against Ole Miss, had eight tackles in the first half for the second game in a row on his way to a season-high 13 tackles … Led the team with 10 tackles in the win over Tennessee, including one tackle for loss … Made his season debut against Miami and recorded a game-high 11 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of three yards … Missed the first game of the season due to a foot injury … A consensus preseason first-team All-SEC pick.

2007 Season

Started in all 13 games at middle linebacker … Was a First-Team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches and the AP … Garnered Second-Team All-SEC Honors by Rivals.com … Led the team with 131 total tackles (81 solo) … Placed second in the SEC in total tackles … Ranked second on the team and sixth in the SEC in tackles for loss with 16 tackles for a loss of 36 yards … Also led the team and tied for third in the SEC in fumble recoveries with three on the season, including two in the victory over South Carolina and one versus Michigan … Had a career-high 14 tackles (nine solo) versus Vanderbilt … Tallied seven or more total tackles in all 13 games on the season … Has never collected less than three solo tackles in a game this season … Had at least one tackle for a loss in seven consecutive games beginning in the victory over Tennessee and ending against Vanderbilt … Registered his first career sack in the win over Troy and added a half a sack against Auburn … Had seven pass deflections on the season … Led or tied for lead in tackles per game in all games except LSU and Kentucky … Member of the Leadership Committee.

2006 Season

Took the field at linebacker during the Gators' win over Ohio State in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game … Saw action at linebacker in the SEC Championship game against Arkansas … Dressed for the Florida State game but did not see action … Made a career-high six tackles and broke up a pass in his first career start against Western Carolina … Saw significant time at linebacker in the win over South Carolina, finishing with three tackles and Florida's lone tackle for loss … Dressed but did not play in the wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt … Played on the defensive side of the ball against Auburn … Dressed but did not play in the LSU game … Assisted on a tackle in the win over Alabama … Tied his career high with two tackles against Kentucky, while also breaking up his first career pass … Dressed but did not play in the Tennessee game … Made a solo tackle versus UCF … Entered the Southern Miss game in the second series and made a solo tackle on his first collegiate play; finished with two tackles.

High School

Four-year starter at linebacker and defensive end for Crest Senior High School … Listed as the No. 1 prospect in North Carolina in 2006 by Rivals.com … Considered the No. 13 linebacker prospect by Rivals.com … Rated as the No. 6 overall prospect in the country according to Scout.com … Selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Game … Was a team captain and totaled 74 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions as a senior.

Moved to linebacker sophomore season and stayed there ever since … Lost 30 pounds from his playing weight as junior … Helped lead Crest High School to the North Carolina state semifinal round as a senior … Posted 98 tackles, including three sacks, seven interceptions and forced five fumbles from his linebacker position … Chose Florida over Alabama, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech.

Personal

Brother, Breyon Middlebrooks, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole in North Carolina after arrest in 2001.

 
Latest News
04/26/2010 - COULD SURPRISE: Linebacker Brandon Spikes: A 5.06-second 40-yard dash time hurt Spikes' stock, but not Bill Belichick. He sees Spikes as a big, productive force on the inside who moves as well between the tackles as any linebacker he's seen in recent years.

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