Four-star safety Brian Branch is visiting Ohio State today. Branch (6-0 182) plays for Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia.
Branch is the No. 5 safety in the nation per 247Sports and the No. 94 player in the 2020 class overall.
As a junior last season, he finished with 58 tackles and five interceptions on defense, and caught 15 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns on offense. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, which you can see in the highlights posted below.
Ohio State offered Branch last November, and he was on hand for the Buckeyes’ 62-39 win over the Wolverines.
Last weekend, Branch was in Ann Arbor visiting Michigan, who offered in January. He has also received offers from Alabama, West Virginia, and Florida State this winter.
According to 247Sports, Branch has one official visit scheduled so far, which takes place April 12 at Oklahoma. Michigan is also likely to get an official visit.
Things are still very early in the Crystal Ball business, with just two predictions cast so far.
Ohio State is still waiting for their first defensive commitment in the 2020 class, and don’t expect Branch to be the first. There is still plenty more for him to see around the country. Though he did tell 247Sports that he’d like to have a decision by the end of June ($).
The Buckeyes are in on a number of safeties as they begin recruiting for a more versatile position group, which now includes the linebacker/safety hybrid “Bullet” position.
One of their top targets is Arizona prospect Lathan Ransom, who is the No. 4 safety in the nation. A source has told The-Ozone that he will be leaving the state for college, but the Buckeyes are going to have to fight to get him to come east.
Texan RJ Mickens is the No. 1 safety in the nation and visited Ohio State last year for Friday Night Lights. The Buckeyes are players here, but this is likely going to be a long, drawn out battle.
Four-star Michigan safety Makari Paige is an interesting prospect at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. The Wolverines are seen as the favorite here, however.
IMG’s Lejond Cavazos is ranked the No. 22 safety, but OSU has already told him they’d like his first look to be at cornerback. That was before the coaching change, however. Cavazos is a former Ohio State commit, but is expected to come back into the Buckeye fold before too long.
There are also a number of other ATHs and cornerbacks that Ohio State is recruiting who could end up at safety once they get to college.