Hello From The Future: Kalil Branham Comment Count

Brian June 20th, 2018 at 3:11 PM

As Seth posted yesterday, Michigan picked up its first 2020 commit shortly after camp when OH WR Kalil Branham pulled the trigger. Like most rising juniors outside of the super-hyped tier, there's not a ton out there on him yet. But at least he can almost make a shirt out of medals!


247 ESPN Rivals Composite
3*, #322 overall
#36 WR, #5 OH
NR 3*, NR overall
5.7 rating

24/7 is the only site with a ranking on Branham; they put him in the heart of 3.5* territory at #322 nationally and the #5 kid in Ohio.  ESPN doesn't have a profile for him and, given that they've seeming fired all their useful people so they can meet Stephen A. Smith's demands for ever-larger carrot cakes, may not ever have one. Rivals has an early placeholder. 5.7 is the top end of their three star range, FWIW.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]


Nothing yet from Rivals. 24/7 also doesn't have much that's substantive. Bill Greene provides the only network scouting yet published:

With good size (6-foot-1, 190-pounds), track speed and the ability to go up and over defensive backs for the football, Branham is already looked at as one of the top wideouts in the Midwest for the class of 2020.

He followed that up with a clarification: he hasn't seen the kid in person yet but likes the kid "a lot" and will catch him this fall. Magnus's highlight film take:

Branham appears to have legitimate track speed. He has good acceleration off the line of scrimmage, and he can create separation from defensive backs on vertical routes. That speed also helps him set up shorter routes. His frame is solid for a high school rising junior, and he should be strongly built in college, even if he doesn’t get much taller. He catches the ball with his hands away from his body, and he shows an ability to track the ball in the air and make adjustments to poorly thrown balls. He shows a willingness to block and takes pride in it, and that should be a strength for him going forward.

On the negative side, Branham plays like a track guy. He runs rather upright, and there’s not a whole lot of shiftiness to his running style. He occasionally tries to work in a spin move, but it’s not super tight and he uses it where some kids might try a dead leg. He also needs to improve his route running, which is expected for a guy just coming out of his sophomore yea

Michigan probably has a better grasp on Branham than anyone else since they just got him in camp, where he was a positional MVP, and pulled the trigger on an offer a couple of days later.

Michigan's had a couple early commits from Ohioans that didn't stick but this one is probably going to. Branham comes from a brave and thick-skinned family of Michigan fans:

Hopefully some blanks get filled in over the next few weeks.


With all due respect to Boston College (miss you, AJ Dillion), Michigan was Branham's first top-tier offer. BC, Wake, Cincinnati, and various MAC schools were his other early offers. GT and Pitt were supposedly near offers.


Northland High School in Columbus hasn't sent many football players to major colleges in the past decade but sounds familiar because of its outstanding basketball program, which sent one Trey Burke to Michigan. Jared Sullinger is also an alum, and Michigan recruited SF Seth Towns for a bit last year before Tommy Amaker swooped in and dunked on Shaka once again.


I couldn't find any.


Branham doesn't have a camp one. He self-reports a 4.44. That gets two FAKES out of five. That's optimistic for any sophomore in high school but Branhham is probably pretty good at running in a straight line:

Kalil will focus on the Junior Olympics, where he has an opportunity to place highly in the 200 and 400-meter dash events. As a result, he is not certain which camps he will go to yet. He is not planning on enrolling early when he begins college as he wants to finish his baseball and track seasons when he is a senior.

Per his self-reported stats on twitter he's faster than Ezekiel Elliott.

Also he does big box jumps.



Dunno? Let's wait until there's some scouting. One positive item: Branham is the kind of guy who has a jugs machine at home that gets plenty of use:

He says he won't be outworked, and that's likely to be true.


Branham was the only 2020 recruit Michigan had for most of the drafting of this post, but no longer. Either way the 2020 class is in its very early stages and it's hard to project anything until 2019 is put to bed. One thing of note: Branham has an older brother in the 2019 class named John who's currently projected to go to Pitt.



June 20th, 2018 at 3:31 PM ^

"ESPN doesn't have a profile for him and, given that they've seeming fired all their useful people so they can meet Stephen A. Smith's demands for ever-larger carrot cakes, may not ever have one."


Blue in Paradise

June 20th, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

At what point does ESPN get taken out of the Composite rankings and stopped getting referenced.  They have clearly stopped emphasizing recruiting so their analysis (when it exists) have become close to irrelevant.

Of course, the Starz Mafia (who by the way are a nearly identical group to the Douchebag Mafia) don't care about this and will still claim that a 2 year old fire and forget from ESPN means more than a kid's tape and coaching staff eval - but for the those of us with brains, we should just ignore the last remnants of ESPN recruiting content.

There are a lot of smaller / independent recruiting shops out there - I would give them a shot over the rotting carcass of ESPN.


June 20th, 2018 at 4:23 PM ^

I mean if you drop ESPN the composite is just 247 and Rivals, and Rivals has its own camp preference issues. The composite already lost some of its usefulness going from four services to three.

I don't think that the market can support more than 2-3ish (ESPN is the ish) national recruiting services but it would be nice if some investors wanted to lose money to give us more useful info on football children. 


June 20th, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

On WTKA this morning, someone at the Michigan Camp said the coaches were freaking out after Branham ran his 40 because it was close to a 4.3. Also on WTKA, Bill Greene said that he thinks that he'll move up in rankings and Ohio St would push hard for him in the future


June 20th, 2018 at 4:55 PM ^

This kid looks like a great get and I wish him well.  But did anyone else think that in that medals pic he looks like a cut-up Gary Coleman?

S.G. Rice

June 20th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

I suppose it could always be photoshop but it's astounding to me that a kid that young is already that physically mature.  Hard work gets you a long ways, sure, but you also need testosterone and stuff.


June 21st, 2018 at 1:52 AM ^

I know nothing about this particular kid, or really football recruiting in general, but what seems crazy to me is the #5 player in Ohio being ranked outside the top-300 nationally. Even with an even distribution among every state, 5th in Ohio should be top-250, and obviously that's not the case since like half of the states are worthless, whereas Ohio is pretty talent rich. I know these services tend to overrate The South because that's where their bread is buttered, but geez.


June 20th, 2018 at 6:36 PM ^

The more I learn the more I really like this recruit.  The kid seems like a freak athlete that works hard and has confidence.   His film is good.  

Ron Utah

June 20th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

Very good speed and quickness.  Nice hands.  Strong, willing blocker.  I guess he's not higher rated because he's not 6-4?  Can even throw a nice pass.  Love this commitment.

Welcome to the family, Kalil.  GO BLUE!


June 21st, 2018 at 6:32 AM ^

Any chance we offer his brother? He looks like a manchild in his 247 profile pic. Also I'm sure he is a workout warrior/Michigan man like his little brother.