If you have not heard of Mustafa Branch you will. The Bellevue Wolverine will really power up the team in 2015 and is riding a wave of recent offers that are a pure reflection on his incredible talent. In 2013 it was Bellevue’s All American Myles Jack who went on to one of the best Freshmen years in the history of college football playing both sides of the ball at UCLA. This year it is Budda Baker who also landed All American status and was the 2 way devastator for the Wolverines as they went 15-0 and won it all again. He will tear it up at the UW for Coach Chris Petersen next year.
This year the spotlight turns to Mustafa Branch, a 6’0″- 215 lb smasher, who is a relative of NFL stars Deion Branch (SUPER BOWL MVP) and Chris Branch. The kid is legit. On defense he is a threat to stuff every run from his outside linebacker spot and or to drop and intercept opponents. On offense he has that insane burst of speed and can lower his shoulder like a truck and mow down defenders. His talents are special.
We recently reviewed all his film. If you watch him he is all on all the time. Every step is purposeful and calculated like any big recruit. His football IQ is very high and he has the hips to unleash on the best and make them pay. His game is not about stats but instant impact as each down he looks to dominate his space and not worry about the glory. A trait typical in the Wolverines team concept.
“Playing for Bellevue is amazing. And right now we are all lifting and getting ready. I am also running track where I am sprinting and doing some shot put too. All of that is to add to and improve my game,” said Branch.
We asked him what he thinks his strengths as a player are?
“My strengths are I work hard and I love the game so much,” he offered. “Those things drive me and define me.”
What about areas where he can improve?
He thought for a bit and added, “Pass coverage. I could definitely get better at that. Also I have been told I need to run my feet on tackles. Right now I can take down most High School kids with my strength. In college I need to run through them with my legs powering me. So that will improve this year.”
Now that he brought up college lets talk about that.
“Right now I have offers from Colorado, Northwestern, Oregon State, WSU, and Wyoming with a lot of other schools in touch.”
That is 5 Majors for the young man who seems to project best at Outside Linebacker. He is used on the blitz off the edge a lot in the Wolverine attack that can be smothering. The film you will see here under his HUDL link or at the Viewer is proof of that.
We wondered how this was all sitting with him now as the offers can sometimes change a kid.
“To be honest a year or so ago I was just trying to be a good High School player. Going to college on a scholarship never crossed my mind. And now this is just so great and such an honor,” he thoughtfully said.
Has he visited anyone?
“Yes Northwestern was amazing. And Oregon State was so great too. I am scheduling others as well. Other schools I am looking at are Stanford, UCLA, ASU, Arizona, and the UW. My grandpa went to the UW and that is a connection there for me.”
On to the season ahead. Bellevue riding an incredible 54 Game winning streak (4th in the Nation) will head to California to play Serra (Gardena) in the Honor Bowl Classic. Serra was a top 10 team last season, a perennial powerhouse, and they won the California State Championship last year! So that opener on the road will challenge the team this year.
“Coach Butch pushes us. He wants perfection and we strive for it everyday. That game is going to be great! We will all be ready and believe me we want that win and have the guys to do it.”
Henry Roberts (O-line 2015), Ryan Bowman (D-Line 2016), Isaiah Gilchrist (2016-ATH), and Justus Rogers (2015) will all have offers and lead this team on as well. We will all be cheering for them. For Mustafa Branch he is riding a wave and looks to be a big time prospect for sure this year in the entire NW. Best wishes to all of them as they prepare for the year ahead.