UM’s Manny Diaz first practice as head football coach
After a quick courtship, Daran Branch is the newest member of the Miami Hurricanes’ Class of 2020.
A three-star cornerback in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Branch orally committed to Miami on Tuesday less than three weeks after he first visited Coral Gables and received an offer from the Hurricanes.
Branch went public with his pledge in a Twitter post tagging coach Manny Diaz, defensive coordinator Blake Baker and safeties coach Ephraim Banda.
“This is not a social media thing, this is a ‘U’ thing,” Branch wrote in a screenshot of his Notes app. “So with that being said, I will be COMMITTING TO THE ‘U’NIVERSITY OF MIAMI.”
Branch visited Miami for the first time March 1 while he was in South Florida for a 7-on-7 tournament. The Hurricanes made Branch an offer while he was in town and sewed up his pledge Tuesday, a week after the defensive back took an unofficial visit to the LSU Tigers, who were the other major suitor for the junior from Amite, Louisiana. The Kentucky Wildcats, Auburn Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas Jayhawks were the other Power 5 Conference programs to offer Branch.
The commitment is the first sign of Baker’s recruiting chops in Louisiana. The assistant coach spent five seasons on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs’ staff before taking over as Miami’s defensive coordinator in January.
Although he’s only the No. 42 corner in the nation, Branch tested very well at The Opening regional in Reserve, Louisiana, last month. The athlete measured in at 6-foot-1 and 168 points, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds and notched a 33.1-inch vertical leap.
Branch becomes the 10th player in Miami’s 2020 recruiting class, which currently ranks No. 3 in the country. He’s the second cornerback in the class, joining four-star South Dade prospect Jaiden Francois, and the third defensive back, along with three-star Rockledge athlete Ladarius Tennison.