Branch Likes What He Sees at UW

Washington is going to be in the market for linebackers in the 2015 recruiting class and one local prospect to keep an eye on Bellevue (Wa.) LB Mustafa Branch. He spent most of Saturday on Montlake for Washington's Junior Day and he said he came away impressed, not only by the coaches, but also by the direction of the program...

"The direction of the program and the focus of the new coaches is pretty impressive," Branch told "The new staff, they really seemed to care about the players and what our lives are like off the field.

"They just seem to care about everything -- how we are as young men, how we develop as students and as football players. It's the full package with them. They want to win, but they achieve that by focusing on who we are as people and as students as well as football players."

Branch said this was really the first time he had gotten to talk head coach Chris Petersen as well as linebackers coach Bob Gregory.

"I really liked (Petersen) a lot," Branch said. "I met him a couple of weeks ago when he was at our school, but I couldn't really talk to him because of the rules on contact and stuff, so this was my chance to meet him and really talk to him and I think he's a great coach and he's focused on the right things.

"Coach Gregory and I got to know each other a little bit too when we broke out into position meetings and stuff. He's got a ton of experience and he knows how to coach linebackers.

"Overall, it was a great visit. It really boosted up Washington in my mind."

Branch did not come away with an offer, but he said the coaches have let him know they will be evaluating him and that could come in the spring or summer.

Aside from his interest from the Huskies, Branch already has offers from Oregon State and Northwestern and he's been hearing from a handful of other Pac 12 programs.

"I'm just sorta starting to get a feel for the recruiting process to be honest," Branch acknowledged. "I mean, the two offers that I have came out of nowhere, so I'm not even really sure what it means by a school getting close to offering me.

"I get letters and I've talked to a few coaches when they dropped by to see Budda (Baker)."

Branch was a standout on Bellevue's State Title Team this past fall as he totaled over 50 tackles and a handful of sacks (the Wolverines aren't big on keeping stats).

He said he plans to hit the camp circuit this spring and summer although he hasn't mapped out his plans quite yet.

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