Stay updated on latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of Hookem.com. The Dotted Line will publish M-F at 10 a.m. each morning to provide Texas fans with an in-depth look at the latest for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail.
A cerebral approach to offensive line
The best prospects from north Texas, Arkansas and the surrounding areas gathered together Sunday at Cedar Hill High School for the Under Armour All-America Camp Series. The goal for the more than 100 athletes in attendance was an invite to the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando in January.
Crandall center and Texas target Branson Bragg was one of the players to punch his ticket to the all-star game.
“It feels amazing to know I can play in a fully-padded game before college against the best players in the in country,” Bragg said. “This was one of my goals this spring.”
Crandall is a four-star recruit who ranks No. 41 on the Fabulous 55. He’s the third-best center prospect in the country per 247Sports, and its no accident that the 6-4, 295-pounder landed at center. The All-A’s student took a practical approach to his future on the football field.
“First of all, almost no one wants to play center at these camps, so I get a ton of reps at center and guard,” he said. “I’m a little short for tackle and I realize I’m not the size of most of the offensive tackles. Also, I just love playing center. I like making the calls and being the quarterback of the offensive line.”
Bragg is a film junkie. He fancies himself a student of the game, studying his tape at camps, practice and in games. He also studies tape of the best offensive linemen in the NFL on a weekly basis. It’s his way to constantly improve.
“I google Pro Football Focus best guard this year and go study that tape,” Bragg said. “I watch film on me and my opponents. Football is as much mental as it is physical. It’s important to get every advantage against all these great players.”
Connecting with Herb Hand
Bragg holds 19 offers and can choose from schools like Texas, Stanford and Texas A&M. He’s the best center to come through Texas in a few cycles and center is a position Tom Herman and his staff have yet to address in recruiting since taking the job.
Bragg could be the future and Hand let him know early that the two could find common ground.
— Branson Bragg (@bransonbragg72) March 23, 2018
“The first time I talked to coach Hand, he told me that I reminded me of him,” Bragg said. “Coach Hand is a bit of renaissance man and has a bunch of interests. He’s not just a football coach, even though that is what he is known for. I’m a football player, but I’m also the pianist in our jazz band and throw the discus and shot at an elite level. I try hard in the classroom. I see the similarities.”
Recruiting is heating up for Bragg. He recently took unofficial visits to Texas and Stanford and is likely headed to College Station this weekend to watch the spring game. He still has no timetable for his decision.
“I got to see spring practice at Texas and see how coach Hand coaches,” Bragg said. “I want to talk to coach Hand more and really see how he would use me in the scheme.”
Falling in love with football
Some of the elite prospects seem born to play college football. Bragg needed a vote of confidence to realize his future could be woven with his ability to play football. He received an offer from Tulsa as a sophomore and the dream of continuing his career became a reality.
“The love for the game grew once I realized I could do this beyond high school,” Bragg said. “I realized this is what I want to do past high school and college. It really set in after that first offer.”
Bragg is a key piece for Texas in the 2019 class. The Longhorns hope to sign a foursome of targets including Bragg and offensive tackles Tyler Johnson and Javonne Shepherd. Texas is also in the mix for Kenyon Green and Stacey Wilkins.
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