Class Impact: Daran Branch to Miami

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Stefan Adams

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2020 Amite (LA) DB Daran Branch committed to the Canes on Tuesday afternoon.


The 6-1, 170-pounder is currently a consensus 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Composite, Branch is the #589 player nationally, the #42 CB in the country, and the #28 player in the state of Louisiana. His commitment moves Miami’s 2020 class ranking to #3 on 247Sports and #3 on Rivals.


The Player

Branch’s Miami recruiting story was quick and to the point. UM offered him a little over two weeks back when his 7-on-7 team came to campus on March 1st, and right away, Branch saw it as a special offer and declared UM his leader. He decided there was no reason to wait and pulled the trigger for Miami over schools like Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma State. He is Miami’s first high school commitment from Louisiana since TE Standish Dobard in 2013, although New Orleans native DT Gerald Willis transferred in from UF back in 2015. With a renewed focus on the Louisiana area, it seems new defensive coordinator Blake Baker’s Louisiana ties are already paying off.

Branch recently told CIS that Miami offered him as a safety, but he spent the majority of his time on his visit with outside linebackers coach Jon Patke, indicating a move to striker is a possibility. Branch has also played cornerback in the past. For the purposes of this article, we’ll consider Branch a safety, but recognize that his designation could change in the future.

Listed at 6’1” 170, Branch is a physically gifted safety, and the first thing that stands out about him is his extreme length. He shows a nose for the football on tape and has an affinity for stopping the run. Despite his slight frame, it’s clear Branch is comfortable playing close to the line and is slippery in getting off blocks and making a play on the ball-carrier. When projecting a defensive player out, the first thing many look for is natural aggression, because football is quite simply a rough sport, and physical tools can only take you so far at the next level if you have a soft mentality. Branch certainly checks that aggression box, and he is often violent in his takedowns.

In coverage, Branch plays with great eye discipline and is difficult to fool, often making the correct read on misdirection plays, play action, etc., and sticking with his man. Ball skills do not really show up on tape, but that does not mean they are not there or can’t be developed. Branch is clearly a more run-oriented safety at this stage, but his frame, length, and speed give him a high ceiling to progress into a lethal pass defender.


The Class

Branch is the 10th commit overall in the 2020 class and the second safety in Category20 along with Rockledge (FL) 3-star Ladarius Tennison. It’s safe to say at this point that by taking Branch’s commitment, UM is going to be looking for three safeties in this class.

The Canes have offered plenty of new names at the position in recent weeks, especially outside of the state. Of these guys, it is hard to tell just how much they are interested in UM and the relationships are so new, but the name to know for now is Southlake Carroll (TX) 4-star RJ Mickens. Mickens, who is currently considered the top safety in the country, just put the Canes in his top 11 last week and told me he is in the process of setting a visit to Coral Gables.

Also at the top of the safety board is Deland (FL) 4-star Avantae Williams, who Miami has really been pressing hard to flip from Oregon lately. A former UM commitment, Williams has family ties to the program, and UM is working to set a visit up for him as well right now. He is considered the #2 safety in the country, so along with their pursuit of Mickens, it’s clear Miami is shooting very high to fill out their safety class.

If the Canes miss on these top targets, expect them to stay local and try and push for a guy like South Dade 4-star Keshawn Washington or Miami Palmetto 3-star Robert Hanna, although I personally see Washington as a likely striker in Miami’s defense. Sandalwood 3-star Derek Bermudez is also an intriguing option from the Jacksonville area who has already visited multiple times this spring.


The Team

By the time Branch hits campus in 2020, Miami will have five other safeties on campus in seniors Amari Carter and Derrick Smith, juniors Gurvan Hall and Bubba Bolden, and sophomore Keontra Smith. That seems like a solid group, depending on if everyone develops properly. If the position group delivers on its talent level, it’s safe to say that Branch will take an apprentice role as a freshman at Miami, and has a good chance to play some nickel in certain situations as well. After Carter and Smith leave, there’s spots in the rotation open for Branch or whoever else Miami recruits in 2021. With his ability, there’s no reason Branch shouldn’t be pushing for a starting role in the defensive backfield by the time he’s an upperclassman.

 

No_Fly_Zone

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2020 Amite (LA) DB Daran Branch committed to the Canes on Tuesday afternoon.


The 6-1, 170-pounder is currently a consensus 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Composite, Tennison is the #589 player nationally, the #42 CB in the country, and the #28 player in the state of Louisiana. His commitment moves Miami’s 2020 class ranking to #3 on 247Sports and #3 on Rivals.


The Player

Branch’s Miami recruiting story was quick and to the point. UM offered him a little over two weeks back when his 7-on-7 team came to campus on March 1st, and right away, Branch saw it as a special offer and declared UM his leader. He decided there was no reason to wait and pulled the trigger for Miami over schools like Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma State. He is Miami’s first high school commitment from Louisiana since TE Standish Dobard in 2013, although New Orleans native DT Gerald Willis transferred in from UF back in 2015. With a renewed focus on the Louisiana area, it seems new defensive coordinator Blake Baker’s Louisiana ties are already paying off.

Branch recently told CIS that Miami offered him as a safety, but he spent the majority of his time on his visit with outside linebackers coach Jon Patke, indicating a move to striker is a possibility. Branch has also played cornerback in the past. For the purposes of this article, we’ll consider Branch a safety, but recognize that his designation could change in the future.

Listed at 6’1” 170, Branch is a physically gifted safety, and the first thing that stands out about him is his extreme length. He shows a nose for the football on tape and has an affinity for stopping the run. Despite his slight frame, it’s clear Branch is comfortable playing close to the line and is slippery in getting off blocks and making a play on the ball-carrier. When projecting a defensive player out, the first thing many look for is natural aggression, because football is quite simply a rough sport, and physical tools can only take you so far at the next level if you have a soft mentality. Branch certainly checks that aggression box, and he is often violent in his takedowns.

In coverage, Branch plays with great eye discipline and is difficult to fool, often making the correct read on misdirection plays, play action, etc., and sticking with his man. Ball skills do not really show up on tape, but that does not mean they are not there or can’t be developed. Branch is clearly a more run-oriented safety at this stage, but his frame, length, and speed give him a high ceiling to progress into a lethal pass defender.


The Class

Branch is the 10th commit overall in the 2020 class and the second safety in Category20 along with Rockledge (FL) 3-star Ladarius Tennison. It’s safe to say at this point that by taking Branch’s commitment, UM is going to be looking for three safeties in this class.

The Canes have offered plenty of new names at the position in recent weeks, especially outside of the state. Of these guys, it is hard to tell just how much they are interested in UM and the relationships are so new, but the name to know for now is Southlake Carroll (TX) 4-star RJ Mickens. Mickens, who is currently considered the top safety in the country, just put the Canes in his top 11 last week and told me he is in the process of setting a visit to Coral Gables.

Also at the top of the safety board is Deland (FL) 4-star Avantae Williams, who Miami has really been pressing hard to flip from Oregon lately. A former UM commitment, Williams has family ties to the program, and UM is working to set a visit up for him as well right now. He is considered the #2 safety in the country, so along with their pursuit of Mickens, it’s clear Miami is shooting very high to fill out their safety class.

If the Canes miss on these top targets, expect them to stay local and try and push for South Dade 4-star Keshawn Washington, McArthur 3-star Jerrold Pough, or Miami Palmetto 3-star Robert Hanna, although I personally see Washington as a likely striker in Miami’s defense. Sandalwood 3-star Derek Bermudez is also an intriguing option from the Jacksonville area who has already visited multiple times this spring.


The Team

By the time Branch hits campus in 2020, Miami will have five other safeties on campus in seniors Amari Carter and Derrick Smith, juniors Gurvan Hall and Bubba Bolden, and sophomore Keontra Smith. That seems like a solid group, depending on if everyone develops properly. If the position group delivers on its talent level, it’s safe to say that Branch will take an apprentice role as a freshman at Miami, and has a good chance to play some nickel in certain situations as well. After Carter and Smith leave, there’s spots in the rotation open for Branch or whoever else Miami recruits in 2021. With his ability, there’s no reason Branch shouldn’t be pushing for a starting role in the defensive backfield by the time he’s an upperclassman.

Your template is showing, boss.
 

Mklein13

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3 safeties would be solid for this class. Think if they get 3 to sign, someone moves to striker. Hall, Bolden, Carter, Smith, Smith, and 3 freshman is a lot.
 

Cuban-Cane

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Another 3 star some things never change we recruit mediocre players we will be a mediocre program
We only have 2 3 stats committed and they could both be bumped. Simmons from 247 said today that Branch will most likely be a high 3 star by summer and has a good chance of becoming a 4 star in fall when they get more tape of him. Is this an informed comment or are you talking out of your rear end to simply ***** about something?
 

Calvin

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Another 3 star some things never change we recruit mediocre players we will be a mediocre program
Dont be a star whore, when you got the #1 pass defense in the nation, that wasnt by luck, its a mix of real talent and Great coaching, dont let these nerd recruiting sites blind you from reality. The best practice is to rate the players yourself once you actually see them playing in a real college game, crying and moaning over these bs star and class rankings only shows had most of yall same so called UM fans would've been mad that santana moss and ed reed signed here!
 

Tee3000

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To me, this appears to be a clout commit to gain an offer from the SEC schools close to him that have not offered. We are his biggest and best offer..he goes to a powerhouse program that is smack dab in the backyard of LSU and Bama and they've seen him play for years....we shall see.

In his own words: "I want to go to LSU, but they're not showing me much attention," Branch said. "Ole Miss, Auburn, and Kansas again."
 
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Tee3000

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I stopped watching the film at the 3:00 mark...I can see why Bama and LSU haven't offered him at DB. Kid needs work.....I get why we did offer though.....maybe he plays the striker role...his position is similar to that of Keontra Smith but Smith had way more explosive plays.
 
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