Trinity Catholic’s Jake Slaughter wins Scot Brantley Trophy

It has been many years since Scot Brantley took the football field.

The Ocala Forest alum went on to play football at the University of Florida before being taken in the third round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brantley’s seven-season career with the Buccaneers was highlighted by a jaw-dropping hit against the Detroit Lions’ quarterback Eric Hipple. But now, Brantley’s life post-football is highlighted by a trophy bearing his name.

The Scot Brantley trophy, which is sponsored by the Ocala Quarterback Club, is an annual recognition given to the most outstanding football player, student and citizen within the nine Central Florida counties of Marion, Alachua, Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Lake, Volusia, Putnam and Columbia.

On Jan. 13, Trinity Catholic’s Jake Slaughter took home the award. He beat out quarterback Nate Mikell (Wildwood), athlete Trevonte Rucker (Vanguard) and linebacker Zach Williams (Forest).

Slaughter, an offensive lineman, was the third to lift the trophy. He joins former Buchholz standout and current Florida Gator Trent Whittemore, and former North Marion Colt and current Tennessee Tech defensive back Jyron Gilmore.

Slaughter, a senior at Trinity Catholic, signed his letter of intent to play football at Brantley’s alma mater, the University of Florida, back in December.

Through his senior season, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Slaughter helped the Celtics to a 7-4 record and helped clear the way for Trinity Catholic’s ball carriers to rack up 1,857 rushing yards.

“It really is an honor to receive this award, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it,” Slaughter wrote in a statement. “It truly means a lot to be recognized by a Marion County great like Mr. Brantley, especially as an offensive lineman.”

The Brantley’s have been no stranger to Slaughter throughout his football career.

Scot Brantley’s younger brother, John Brantley III, returned to Trinity Catholic in 2020 to coach Slaughter and the Celtics.

“Considering the talent of the other three finalists, I was shocked to find out that I had won,” Slaughter added. “I’m beyond thankful for all of the great teammates and coaches I’ve had throughout my high school career. And winning this award is the perfect ending to it.”

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