• Ainslie Lee

Jyron Gilmore presented Scot Brantley Trophy by Ocala QB Club

In one moment, Jyron Gilmore was watching film of Scot Brantley lay out Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple.

Watching the ferocious-hitting linebacker, who spent time with the Florida Gators and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had Gilmore grimacing.

“Seeing him, I mean, that guy is a monster.. he knocks people’s heads off,” Gilmore laughed afterwards.

But moments after Gilmore watched in awe and Brantley reminisced, Brantley stood to speak.

“This day is about Jyron,” Brantley assured. “It means that much more to me that I can sit here with a fine young man that exemplifies all of the things that everybody has talked about. It’s amazing.”

Gilmore, back in January, was announced as the winner of the 2019 Scot Brantley Trophy.

“It was a great feeling considering it was the Scot Brantley Award,” Gilmore said back in January. “And just being in that category with him – it meant a lot to me. And I just thank God for being blessed and having this gift and skill set to be able to be in that category and win that award. It means a lot to me."

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, the Scot Brantley Trophy selection is a season-long process.

What started out as a 56-player watchlist, compiled by Todd Swearingen and Brantley himself, slowly dwindled down to a final four.

Joining Gilmore in the final ranks was Dunnellon’s Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Vanguard’s Dewayne McBride and The Villages’ Mac Harris.

According to Brantley, through the entire course of the process, Gilmore “kept coming to the top”.

And on Friday morning, the North Marion High School senior was recognized in front of his administration and members of the Ocala Quarterback Club, which sponsors the award.

The Ocala Quarterback Club’s Captain Mike McGinnis, and Scot Brantley Trophy Chairman Todd Duffy, were among those in attendance during the presentation.

Meanwhile, as the award’s namesake spoke, it became clear what Brantley admired most about this year’s recipient.

“The dedication of giving yourself and your life to Jesus Christ, and to be able to call him by name and not just by God… Jesus Christ is the reason that we all exist. And he (Gilmore) understands that. And that’s the main thing that caught my attention,” Brantley managed to say through his cracking voice.

Just minutes apart, Gilmore went from watching Brantley “knock people’s heads off”, to hearing him become emotional in just talking about Gilmore’s off-field character.

“It still feels kind of unrealistic,” Gilmore said following the presentation. “I feel I was the best player picked… or I was the player highly looked at over a bunch of great players, so that means a lot to me.”

Gilmore, a Tennessee Tech signee, will make the move to the Volunteer State this fall. Before then, the North Marion senior is prepared to represent his school, city and county as the face of high school football.

“I feel like I’m the best person to represent my city,” Gilmore said. “I’m not trying to be cocky, I just know that I’m up for it… it’s not even a challenge to me, I’m just up for it and I would love to put my city on the map.”

And Gilmore will do so with the Scot Brantley Trophy in tow.

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