Kalil Branham, Ex-Wolverine

Kalil Branham, Ex-Wolverine


April 14, 2019
Kalil Branham (image via Youtube)

Columbus (OH) Northland wide receiver Kalil Branham decommitted from Michigan on Saturday. He had been committed to Michigan since last June (LINK). He’s currently ranked as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #64 wide receiver, and #342 overall.

Hit the jump for more.

His older brother, John Branham, is a 3-star recruit headed to play at Eastern Michigan in the fall, so I thought that family connection and both brothers playing in Washtenaw County would keep Kalil committed. However, Kalil committed to Michigan before Josh Gattis and his #speedinspace hashtag were brought to Ann Arbor, so perhaps Gattis wasn’t so high on Branham.

Either way, crystal balls started heading in Kentucky’s direction right before the news came out about the decommitment.

I’m slightly disappointed because I like Branham as a prospect. He constantly posts videos of himself and his brother busting their tails to get better at football, and they seem like a family-oriented bunch. He doesn’t jump off the screen on film, but I have respect for his character and I was rooting for him to succeed. And I still will – as long as he goes somewhere outside the Big Ten and doesn’t play against Michigan.

This is the third player to decommit from Michigan in the 2020 class, joining Virginia running back Tim Baldwin (uncommitted) and Illinois defensive tackle Denver Warren (uncommitted).

The Wolverines have zero wide receivers committed in the 2020 class. They’re now #18 in the team composite rankings.

29 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1283
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Apr 14, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    We may lose our big three Receivers. We’re approaching desperation mode at that position

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1073
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Apr 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM

      We don’t have a “Big Three”. We have two guys who had good, but not great seasons last year. No receiver on our roster has shown NFL-level talent.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3015
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Apr 14, 2019 at 8:55 PM

        I disagree with that strongly. Black, Peoples-Jones, and Collins all have NFL-level talent.

        • 17years
          Comments: 179
          Joined: 2/6/2018
          17years
          Apr 14, 2019 at 11:54 PM

          Collins is just a freak of nature. He makes the big plays at the big moments. Big or small moment, it seems it’s all the same to him. I read he didn’t drop a single pass last year. Hard to believe.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1073
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Apr 15, 2019 at 9:08 AM

          If they do, they haven’t shown it yet. Peoples-Jones and Collins are good college receivers, but that’s all. Black has shown essentially nothing yet.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1184
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Apr 15, 2019 at 4:58 PM

      There is a reasonable possibility that Eric Ahl doesn’t grow up to be a tight end and becomes a wide receiver, Mike Sainstril was listed as a CB at 247, but is now playing receiver/slot receiver, then throw in Cornelius Johnson, George Johnson III who is coming in at receiver, Quintel Kent also coming in at receiver and Giles Jackson at slot makes it a possible six guys coming in to catch passes in an offense that will feature slot types for the first time in a long time.

      I think there are far more “approaching desperation” position groups to worry about than receiver.

      DT for one. I can see us needing a new Center pretty quick as Ruiz feels special to me and special at the college level can reasonably be translated as gone.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 230
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Extrajuice
    Apr 14, 2019 at 4:39 PM

    Desperation would be taking ANY wr even if they have a high floor. I don’t think UM is at that point. If those 3 guys put up good stats and show that the offense is wr friendly then I think the higher ceiling guys will come. I’m pretty comfortable where UM is and think they could get much better players than Branham in the future.

    On the other side, I liked Branham as well. Seemed like a blue-collar type kid who put in a lot of work. Wasn’t necessarily sought after and will probably drop in rankings. Just don’t see him as explosive. Will be interesting to see what type of WR’s Gattis tries to bring in.

    • 17years
      Comments: 179
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      Apr 14, 2019 at 6:45 PM

      Michigan has higher ceiling WRs. DPJ was a 5 Star, the #1 WR in the Nation. Nico Collins was a 4 Star, the #5 ranked player in the State of Alabama. Nick Saban wanted him very badly. Oliver Martin was the #181 overall ranked player in his class year, and the #1 player from the State of Iowa. Jim Harbaugh has, and will continue to get high ranking players. I love what Ed Warinner is doing for attracting time names to the O Line. It shouldn’t be long, hopefully, until the Alex Leatherwoods of the world come to Michigan. But I am really looking forward to what Trevor Keegan and Nolan Rumnler will do already.

      It’s not that this WR was ranked high. It’s that he’s dedicated, and growing. I hope he does well at Kentucky.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1073
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Apr 14, 2019 at 8:45 PM

        Four years ago people were saying that elite recruits would be flocking to Michigan from the get-go, because Harbaugh knew how to get them to the NFL. So now it’s going to be, what, 6-7 years (at least) before that starts happening?

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3015
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Apr 14, 2019 at 8:50 PM

          This again? We signed the #8 recruiting class two months ago.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1073
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Apr 15, 2019 at 6:53 AM

            How many recruits that you would consider elite were in that class? As opposed to guys who were just run-of-the-mill for a major program? Face it…elite recruits are not banging on our door the way that a lot of Harbaugh cultists claimed they would 4 years ago.

            The ratings of our recruiting classes under Harbaugh are as much due to unsustainable numbers, as a result of high attrition, as they are to high average quality of recruits. We had 29 commitments in 2016, and 30 in 2017, but a lot of those guys are already gone.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1073
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            WindyCityBlue
            Apr 15, 2019 at 7:02 AM

            Oh, and our 2018 class was ranked #24, with seven 4 stars and 11 3 stars. If you’re going to evaluate recruiting overall, it’s more than a little dishonest to only look at the years when you oversign.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3015
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Apr 15, 2019 at 7:35 AM

              I’m honestly surprised we’re going over this again, but recruiting rankings don’t look at all 28 or 30 signees. They count the top 20 signees. So the 2-star you get late in the process isn’t factored in.

              Elite recruits are irrelevant to recruiting rankings. The #8 class is the #8 class, whether it’s because you have a bunch of high 4-stars or several 5-stars and then some middling recruits. Recruiting rankings matter, and we were #8.

              As far as the 2018 class being ranked #24, sure…but 2017 was #5. And 2016 was #8. The 2018 class you’re bringing up is the outlier. The four-year average finish is about #11. We’re not Clemson or Alabama, but we’re pretty good in the recruiting department.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1073
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                WindyCityBlue
                Apr 15, 2019 at 9:14 AM

                Sure we’re “pretty good”. When did I ever say we weren’t? My statement was: “Four years ago people were saying that elite recruits would be flocking to Michigan from the get-go, because Harbaugh knew how to get them to the NFL.” I claimed that didn’t, and still hasn’t, happened. What part of that do you disagree with?

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3015
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 9:20 AM

                  I disagree with your overall take, considering it’s highly possible that we have two 1st round draft picks (Gary, Bush), we have one of the best corners in the draft (Long), an intriguing edge guy (Winovich), etc. All those guys were recruited and developed by Jim Harbaugh and friends, save for Winovich, who was a Hoke recruit but didn’t develop until Harbaugh got him. Those Harbaugh guys came from classes that were in the top eight.

                  So…yeah…I’d say Michigan is attracting NFL talent, because Harbaugh is taking guys and putting them in the NFL. It’s a pretty simple “if, then” statement. If Harbaugh is putting guys in the NFL, then he’s getting NFL talent.

              • Avatar
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                WindyCityBlue
                Apr 15, 2019 at 12:45 PM

                I’ll repeat…my statement was: “Four years ago people were saying that elite recruits would be flocking to Michigan from the get-go, because Harbaugh knew how to get them to the NFL.” I claimed that didn’t, and still hasn’t, happened.

                THAT’S the statement that you jumped in to disagree with. So what part of that SPECIFIC statement do you disagree with? Not what things I’ve ever said about Harbaugh, recruiting, and player development. Sure some Michigan players are going to be drafted this year. That’s a very different issue than the one I raised. If you want to talk about how well Harbaugh has done at player development, knock yourself out.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3015
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 12:49 PM

                  We’re getting elite recruits with NFL talent, because they’re coming to Michigan and leaving as high draft picks.

                  It’s pretty simple.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4767
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 2:32 PM

                  It’s a weird time to make this argument when 3 of Harbaugh’s first recruiting class turned pro after 3 years and are projected to go in the first few rounds. Not many schools (any?) are beating that mark.

                  Bredeson, Hill, Hudson, Uche and others look poised to follow in their footsteps next year.

                  The current class is ranked #8.

                  @WCB – you seem to be inventing an expectation that Harbaugh would deliver a top 5 classes every year, — I’d like to see evidence that somebody claimed that would be the case.

                  If there is cult-like behavior around the Michigan program it is not a fanbase that appreciates their homegrown head coach turning around the program, it is related to formulating outsized expectations that don’t align with the program performance and then complaining that those expectations weren’t met.

                • Avatar
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                  WindyCityBlue
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 6:33 PM

                  You keep dodging the question. Do I really need to explain that when I say elite recruits, I mean (and the people originally making that claim meant) guys who are considered elite WHEN THEY SIGN. Not three stars that nobody regarded highly out of high school who ended up being excellent college players. Like I said, if you want to argue that Harbaugh has done an extraordinary job developing guys like that after they get here, knock yourself out, but that’s not what I’m talking about, as I suspect you know.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3015
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 7:44 PM

                  I think you’re making a mistake in that the people who decide that recruits have NFL-level talent are not fans or even evaluators at Rivals/247. Sometimes coaches have very different viewpoints, which is why they offer “underrated” kids or go hard after 3-star or middling 4-star recruits. Devin Bush, Jr. was not really an elite prospect to the recruiting sites, but Michigan went VERY hard after him, to the point that they were in Florida all the time, hired his dad, offered some of his teammates (Gil, Metellus, etc.) that weren’t big-time recruits, etc.

                  Just because Josh Helmholdt or Mike Farrell or Allen Trieu thinks someone has NFL-level talent doesn’t mean it’s true.

                  BTW, if you make it to the NFL, you have NFL-level talent. Chase Winovich had NFL-level talent, even if you and I didn’t recognize it back in 2014.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1073
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                  WindyCityBlue
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 6:42 PM

                  If you were paying attention after Harbaugh was hired, you would have seen plenty of people over on MGoBlog making predictions of that sort. And no, sorry, I didn’t bookmark them just for this moment. Take my word for it, or call me a liar.

                  As far as expectations, what you’re describing were never mine. I have been in Show Me mode about Harbaugh ever since he got here, and have yet to be convinced that he is an elite college coach. There is still cult-like behavior around Harbaugh, but it’s getting harder and harder for people to sustain it in the face of four years of classic 9-3ism, with no end in sight, 0-4 against OSU, no division championships, no conference championships and no playoff appearances. The drinkers of Harbaugh Kool-Aid can only deny what happens on the field for so long. Harbaugh is running out of time to prove that his normal ceiling is any better than 10 wins and a second tier bowl bid. I doubt that it is.

                • Avatar
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                  WindyCityBlue
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 8:50 PM

                  No, I’m not. I’m talking about elite RECRUITS. Recruits that are highly rated coming out of high school and that all of the top level programs want. How they eventually pan out is another matter, but you don’t seem to get that.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3015
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Apr 15, 2019 at 9:18 PM

                  No, I get it. You’re just wrong. Whatever your argument is, I’ve got you covered. You want elite RECRUITS who everybody wants? Rashan Gary, Dax Hill, Aubrey Solomon, Cesar Ruiz, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Zach Charbonnet, etc. You want guys with NFL-level talent? All those guys, plus the guys who are, you know, making it to the NFL (David Long, Devin Bush, Chase Winovich, etc.). You want top-200 recruits? Aidan Hutchinson, Cam McGrone, Ben Bredeson, Luiji Vilain, Nico Collins, Dylan McCaffrey, Ambry Thomas, Tarik Black, Michael Onwenu, Lavert Hill, etc.

                  They’re all there. Whatever you want, it’s there. But it’s not there if you choose to ignore it. I can’t help that, though.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 1283
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Apr 14, 2019 at 5:23 PM

    Not desparate to take anyone, desperate to find a way to win. Can’t do that without top guys, and I don’t think we’re even in the fold for top 10-20 WRs. That means wait til 2021, who won’t be difference makers until 2022…

    Desperation mode means neglected for 1-2 cycles, at least on the outside

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3015
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 14, 2019 at 8:56 PM

      We’re in on A.J. Henning, who is #15.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1283
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Apr 14, 2019 at 11:43 PM

        Good. I hope to heck we get him!

      • 17years
        Comments: 179
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Apr 14, 2019 at 11:48 PM

        That kids got hands! Sainristil, and Henning alternating at slot—tough for defenses to handle!!

    • 17years
      Comments: 179
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      Apr 14, 2019 at 11:50 PM

      Cornelius Johnson looks pretty great to me. Hope my eye isn’t wrong about him. I think he could be better than Tarik Black and DPJ. Though Black sure had a great move on the way to a TD yesterday.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 4767
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 15, 2019 at 2:15 PM

    My absurd take on the WR situation is that we are in a very good place, with perhaps one of the best WR groups in the country on campus now and a large incoming class arriving in the fall to complement the vets.

    I think it’ll be the best we’ve seen since at Michigan since at least 2013 (Gallon/Funchess/Chesson/Dileo), and potentially going back to one of the Manningham teams.

    While I can understand seeing signs of desperation in the WR recruiting approach — taking a bunch of little guys that people will classify as “slots” — I see it as a sign that Michigan recognized and addressed a need to support the ongoing evolution of the offense from mainstream 90s (under center huddle I-form) to mainstream current (shotgun no huddle no FB).

    I’m looking forward to the ’19 WR class arriving before stressing about ’20 needs. The team has been burned before by large WR classes (’16) but it’s not likely that all 5 WR recruits will be duds and early returns on Sainstril are about as good as can be hoped for.

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