Despite only playing in spot duty as a freshman in 2004, Branch managed to notch two sacks on the year. As a sophomore he finished the year with 31 tackles, 10 for loss, and five sacks. This season as a junior he faced a lot more attention from opponents, and it limited the numbers he could put up. He still finished with 23 tackles, five for loss, and two sacks along with an interception against Ohio St.
The obvious trait that jumps out at you about Branch is his size. He has a massive frame and is immovable on the inside of the defensive line. His size and strength allows him to hold his ground and clog running lanes. Branch is also a very good athlete for his size and shows the ability to get around blocks and adjust to the ball carrier and make the play. His combination of talent will allow him to play end or nose tackle in a 3-4, or inside in a 4-3 alignment.
Branch just is not a big time playmaker. He is not an explosive penetrator and will not make many plays on his own. He also needs to continue to refine his technique as he can rely on his size too much to make plays. Branch has also had an issue playing with the same intensity level throughout the course of the game.
While Branch isnít a big playmaker, thatís really not what teams will be looking for out of him. His ability to clog running lanes is, and that is why he is held in high regard. Branch and Amobi Okoye are neck and neck in the battle to be the first tackle selected in April, but both are likely Top 14 selections.