Ball State Class of '09: Branden Kish will continue the tradition of highlighting each player that signs a letter of intent for a given class. This time around it is the class of 2009. Here is a brief scouting report on each of the 22 players in the class. Today we have the twelfth of those 22 installments.

Branden Kish, 6-0 200, RB Amherst, OH (Steele)

What he brings: Branden is a productive back that was hampered by injuries during his high school career. He was pretty highly recruited by Mid-American Conference schools, with Ball State winning out over Akron, Kent and Ohio. Kish is surprisingly fast on film. I really had no idea of this kid's speed until I saw it. He isn't an outside burner, but he is very effective between the tackles and has the speed to get into the secondary and make plays. Kish also has above average hands coming out of the backfield.

Areas of improvement: First of all, Branden needs to get healthy. The young man has missed the majority of his Jr. & Sr. seasons in high school due to leg injuries. Hopefully, those injuries do not hamper his talent and he can stay healthy as a Cardinal. Also, Ball State needs to figure out what to do with him. Will he be effective putting on 20 lbs and being a short yardage back? Will he be a role player and spot carry guy? Or does he have the talent to battle Eric Williams and Jelani Alford for carries after MiQuale Lewis graduates? Also, with his athletic skills, would a transition in position also be up for consideration? Kish shares many similarities to current Cardinal S Alex Knipp, would he be better served as a S? Only the coaches know for sure. grade: Branden has some real talent, but there is an abundance of players in the Cardinal crowded backfield. If he can stick through and practice hard, he might have a chance of making an impact and pushing Eric Williams as soon as Kish is healthy. I can see him either being a backup RB, who gets a fair amount of carries a game later in his career, or he could also wind up on defense and have a possible shot at either S or LB.

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