Underrated Prospect: South River Linebacker Nasir Franklin-Branch
As we see every year during this time high school football players are getting college offers from schools across the nation. As scouts and observers go through the immense amounts of film out on hundreds of thousands of players that is watched heavily each year. Yet, players still find ways to be overlooked and underrated […]
As we see every year during this time high school football players are getting college offers from schools across the nation. As scouts and observers go through the immense amounts of film out on hundreds of thousands of players that is watched heavily each year. Yet, players still find ways to be overlooked and underrated by collegiate programs.
Nasir Franklin-Branch is a players in this area that has been overlooked heavily so far. The South River Linebacker after putting together another strong year has yet to garner any interest from collegiate programs. This is unfortunate for a young player who displayed many skills that could make hi an asset at the next level. Opportunity is all that is needed to give this player a chance to show the impact he can make. This piece will look to analyze Franklin-Branch skillset and statistics. While describing how they can make him a quality player at the college level.
Nasir Franklin-Branch finished up his Senior season with South River High school making 1st team All-County in the Arundel County region. In 11 games this year he posted 107 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He was a catalyst for a South River defense that allowed just 222 points, which was 4th fewest in the region. Franklin-Branch as a senior leader on defense helped spearhead a unit that allowed 14 points or less 4 times during the season. While just 30 or more points twice in 11 games which with the quality offenses in this region is no small feat. Franklin-Branch contributed heavily to this high-quality South River defense that was key to the team’s undefeated regular season. As he displayed plenty of abilities that make him an intriguing prospect who can play at the college level.
As far has his overall skillset Franklin-Branch brings several skills coaches want at the linebacker position. He brings big time physicality to the position, setting the tone in run defense with heavy run fits. While delivering hard hits in space on ball carriers making him a key physical presence on defense. He has had several moments this year where he has overwhelmed offensive lineman in both pass rush and run stopping situations putting a couple of them on their back with his power. Franklin-Branch also displays deceptive quickness for a player of his build. Chasing down ball carriers with great effort, showing the high motor that allows him to consistently plays when on the field. His quickness especially shows up when he shoots gaps to make plays in the backfield. As shown by his 16 tackles for loss which is a quality total for a linebacker. The fact that he is a very sure tackler in any area of the field is very good as well. As on tape whenever he got his hands on a ball carrier he nearly every time got them to the ground.
The biggest part of his game he improved was his ability to be sound in coverage. As this past year he looked the most comfortable he had looked in coverage. The confidence he developed in this area as the year progressed allowed him to make plays in pass coverage leading to three pass break-ups. While further work is still needed, he showcased major strides in this part of his game. Thus helping him become a more complete all-around linebacker. Finally, his leadership on the field was apparent as well. As he was a player who with his play fired up his teammates around them. He led by example all season and that is why he finished his career as a 4-year varsity starter at South River.
Nasir Franklin-Branch is a young man who displays all the requisite to play linebacker at the next level. His physical tools will only grow further as he continues to mature, and his leadership and maturity as a player and person will only become infectious to whatever program take a flyer. The fact that a player who played good football on a great team this past year has yet to receive an offer is puzzling. Though when he does get the chance he is looking for, he will be able to run with it. As his work ethic and overall talents will lend him the ability to make a name for himself at the college level.