When asked if he could provide us an early official visit slate, this is what Southerland had to say.
"Notre Dame is the only sure one right now. South Bend is one of the few places I haven't seen. I like Coach Tyrone Willingham a lot. He's very nice and well spoken."
While it sounds as if Notre Dame might have an early advantage, Southerland refused to place the Irish above the five other finalists.
"I wouldn't say I have a leader. It was very difficult to narrow it down to just these six."
Every school on the list has told Brannan that he can have his choice between Fullback and Linebacker, except the Irish, who are strictly recruiting the 6'2 221 pounder as a lead blocker. Which position does Southerland prefer?
"I like them both the same pretty much."
He has ran consistently in the 4.45 to 4.5 range throughout the summer, and is primed for an absolutely monster final season at Greater Atlanta Christian. As for his senior year goals, he definitely isn't concerned about setting the bar too low.
"I want to become perfect at my positions. That is my ultimate goal."
This race is just getting started, as Southerland doesn't appear to be in any hurry to come to a decision. He did admit to me that, "Distance could be a factor" when it finally came time to make up his mind. The 'Battle for Brannan' will be one of the most interesting ones around in 2004, due to the sheer number of football heavyweights still in contention. TheInsiders.com will keep you up to date on Mr. Southerland right up through signing day.