BIO: Two-year starter awarded All-America and All-Conference honors as a senior after posting 295/1,190/16 carrying the ball. Recipient of the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in I-AA in .03 after totaling 450/2,326/29 in 16 games. Caught a total of nine receptions the past two seasons.
POSITIVES: Big, powerful interior back that effectively handles the ball late in the game. Runs hard, falls forward and breaks tackles, picking up yardage off initial contact. Consistently puts his shoulders down and punishes defenders. Patient, waits for blocks to develop and works runs. Displays vision as both a runner and blocker. Quickly picks up blocking assignments and solid in pass protection. Also has the ability to weave through the traffic or cut back in a very small area handling the ball.
NEGATIVES: Lacks quickness through the hole or the speed around the corner. Runs with an upright style and does not always display great balance or body control. Marginal skills as a pass-catcher.
ANALYSIS: A heavy-duty feature runner who.s been very productive on a small school level the past two seasons, Branch has some abilities as a short yardage back in the NFL. Marginal speed may prevent him from ever handling the ball more than a few times a game, yet his power is impressive and enticing.