"Things are going well," the 6-5, 320 Branner tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm getting a lot of love from Arkansas. I'm getting some stuff from Louisiana-Lafayette and North Carolina State. I have been talking with coach (J.B.) Grimes on and off throughout the season. I sent him my highlights through the first four games and he said he likes them and wants me to keep up the good work. Things are just going well."
This weekend Branner will have the opportunity to visit Auburn to see the Tigers take on the Ole Miss Rebels at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Watching closely as the Tigers are off to a 3-1 start, the big lineman says that he can see a real difference in this year's group than the one he witnessed in 2012.
"Right now I love the atmosphere and what Coach Malzahn is doing," Branner says. "I have been watching their games and they have changed a lot since last year. This year they are built different. It's just a different atmosphere and I love it."
With its only losses coming to Florence and Mountain Brook, dropping a heartbreaker to the Spartans last Friday night, Buckhorn is a team that has a chance to make a run in Class 6A if things come together the second half of the season. There is a sure bet if that happens then Branner will be at the center of the storm.
A powerful blocker at left tackle, Branner notes that while he is far from a finished product he is happy with how he's played to this point in 2013.
"It's going good so far," Branner says of his junior season. "I have averaged around 88 percent so far. I just graded out at 91 percent for our homecoming. So far I have done pretty good. I just have to stay humble and keep working. I'm driving to get better.
"I'm just working on improving my feet and my hands," he adds. "I know my hands have gotten a lot better. My feet have gotten quicker, but I'm still working to get a little bit quicker. My aggression has also gotten better."
Branner says that he hasn't focused much on the recruiting process to this point, but that is getting ready to change. With his upcoming visit to Auburn and plans to make a few more trips this fall, he says that right now his goal is to put in the work needed to make his dream come true.
"I have just been focusing on my academics," he says. "I have been getting all my work done and just concentrating on school. I'm planning on graduating next December and enrolling early. I have been busting my tail. I will play college football somewhere in two years."