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!
|3*, #322 overall
#36 WR, #5 OH
|NR||3*, NR overall
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.
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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.
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:
Here's my grandfather who died a little while ago. We miss you paw paw. He was a WW2 vet and very proud of that. He was also a die-hard Michigan fan. #branhamboys #GoBlue #FathersDay pic.twitter.com/TommJ39vSH
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) June 15, 2018
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.
FAKE 40 TIME
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.
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) October 10, 2017
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) June 14, 2018
He says he won't be outworked, and that's likely to be true.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
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.