Former Florida Gators standout linebacker Brandon Spikes had a sensational college football career in Gainesville, but his talent never quite translated to the pros.
Despite his dominant tenure under Urban Meyer, Spikes never strung things together in the NFL, resulting in a short career from a player who once showed so much promise.
Spikes' NFL career ended seemingly just as quickly as it started, but where is he now?
Early Life and College Career
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Brandon Spikes grew up in North Carolina and attended Crest High School in Shelby, N.C. where he became a highly coveted prospect at linebacker.
247Sports listed Spikes as their No. 2 linebacker in the state of North Carolina and the No. 5 middle linebacker in the country. He was sought after by marquee programs, including Alabama and Virginia Tech.
His standout high school career landed him a scholarship from the University of Florida, where he'd spend four seasons, winning two national championships against Ohio State in 2006 and Oklahoma in 2008. The Gators also won the Sugar Bowl over Cincinnati in 2009.
Spikes racked up 178 tackles, four defensive touchdowns and 6.5 sacks during his Gators tenure, and was a Consensus All-American in 2008 and 2009.
Brandon Spikes was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, where he'd play under legendary head coach Bill Belichick and alongside star QB Tom Brady.
During his rookie season he started eight games and featured in 12, logging 61 tackles and one interception, which came in a game against the rival New York Jets. Just ahead of New England's Week 14 clash with the Chicago Bears, Spikes was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
He was part of the Patriots team that reached the Super Bowl in 2011, but were defeated by the New York Giants in a shocking upset. He only played in eight games in 2011 due to injury, but came back strong in 2012, recording a career-high four forced fumbles, alongside 92 tackles and one sack.
Spikes spent one more season in New England, but was placed on Injured Reserve in January 2014 after being late to a team practice. The team did not renew his contract during the offseason, and he signed with the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2014. He started 10 games for the Bills in 2014, logging a sack and 54 tackles. He was fined over $8,000 in 2014 for an illegal hit on former Pittsburgh Steelers and then-Chicago Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
He signed a one-year deal in 2015 to return to the Pats but was released following a police investigation involving an abandoned car, which belonged to Spikes, that was believed to be involved in a hit and run. Spikes told ESPN the Massachusetts car accident was a turning point in his life.
Spikes earned another shot in the league in 2016. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Spikes had worked out for the Miami Dolphins, but he eventually re-signed with Buffalo following an injury to LB Reggie Ragland. He didn't start a single game though he made 11 appearances as a backup. The last season he appeared in an NFL game was in 2016, though he had some unsuccessful stints with various practice squads including that of the Detroit Lions.
Across his NFL career, Spikes played in 78 regular-season games as well as six playoff games. He recorded 349 tackles, five forced fumbles, two sacks and two interceptions throughout six seasons in the league.
Brandon Spikes Now
Spikes hasn't officially retired from football, but considering he's nearly six years removed from the game, it seems unlikely he will make an NFL comeback. Per Sports Illustrated, Spikes is spending time with his family while he's away from the game.
According to Spotrac, Spikes earned over $6 million from his playing career.
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