Branch Interested in Bruins

The Bellevue (Wash.) 2015 linebacker, Mustafa Branch, has been keeping an eye on UCLA and watching a former teammate flourish...

Bellevue (Wash.) 2015 athlete Mustafa Branch (6-0, 210), has had an up-and-down junior season.

He started the year of strong, with a couple of sacks in the Wolverines opener against Skyline and eight tackles for loss in the first two games, but then he broke his collarbone and has missed the past six weeks.

Branch, though, returns to the field tonight when the Wolverines take on Mercer Island, and look to head into the postseason unbeaten.

On the recruiting front, Branch is still hearing from a number of schools.

"I'm hearing from Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and UCLA," said Branch.

The Huskies have been reaching out often to Branch.

"Washington has invited me to a couple of games and I've gone to a few of them against Oregon, Boise State and Arizona," said Branch.

UCLA, where his former Bellevue teammate Myles Jack is, also interests Branch.

"I'm definitely interested in UCLA," said Branch.

In fact, Branch draws some motivation from Jack.

"Watching Myles every week, seeing how he's playing, I'm not surprised at all how he's doing," said Branch. "And I know it makes us all work that much harder because we see with him what working hard gets you."

Branch said that he doesn't think he's done growing, and that linebacker will be his destination in college.

"Schools still look at me as a linebacker," said Branch. "I think I can get up to 6-2, and I'm already 210," said Branch.

Branch said being at Bellevue, where the Wolverines have won five straight state titles and college coaches stop by frequently, has helped him, especially with Jack last year and Budda Baker this year.

"It always helps having coaches come to our practices, so I know they're seeing us," said Branch.

Branch also plays in the backfield for the Wolverines but said he'll likely stick with defense this weekend, easing his way back in.

Academically, Branch has a 3.7 GPA and will take the SAT in the spring.

Brandon is in his ninth year with and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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