Following his U of L career, Branch was selected in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He quickly established himself as one of the top rookies in the league and finished his initial season with 43 receptions for 489 yards.
With time off from football, Branch decided to visit Louisville for a few days and attended the Cardinals Friday practice session.
ITV: So, do you miss being out here during spring practice?
Branch: A little. I miss being a part of it and had to come back to see my old teammates.
ITV: How long are you in town for?
Branch: I'll be here for three days. I'm probably going to take my little boys to see Thunder, but I really wanted to see the guys out here and see how they're doing.
ITV: What advice do you have your former teammates?
Branch: Really I tell them to stay in school for one. If football is what you want to do in life then give it all you got and do it, but mostly I tell them to stay in school.
ITV: Paul Petrino was here during your days, have you had a chance to talk with him yet?
Branch: Yeah, we've had a chance to talk. We talked mostly about the NFL and he wanted to know how I was doing. We just really caught up with each other. He's a good guy and really good coach. The receivers here are going to be pretty good.
ITV: How's life in the NFL treating you? Had a pretty good rookie season.
Branch: It's treating me pretty good. I'm doing all right. The Louisville fans knew how I would do there, but with everybody else it probably took them by surprise.
ITV: How are the Patriots looking for next year?
Branch: We should be all right if we pick up a couple guys. We got a lot of guys out of the free agent market and then with a good draft we should be pretty good.
Practice News & Notes
With the hard-hitting session of Thursday behind them and a full scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, the players worked out without pads on Friday. They spent the day working on blocking fundamentals, pass receiving and offensive and defensive play calling.
Every practice someone new stands out. Today redshirt freshman Emanuel Hassell and senior Victor Glenn had great days. Dontay Spillman and Antoine Harris continued with their strong performance, while the others struggled a little.
Week To Go
Following this Saturday's scrimmage, there are only four practice sessions remaining, including the Friday night Spring Game. Check out the ITV Spring Guide to catch up on anything you may have missed so far.