Tight End A.J. Branisel Commits To The Cincinnati Bearcats

Braxton Lane
PositionWR
Height - Weight5'10" 190 lbs
HometownTyrone, GA
High SchoolSandy Creek
247 Sports-
Rivals** - 5.4
ESPN77
Scout**
Coach Jones got a nice surprise with just over one day until Bearcat Bowl VI. Tight end A.J. Branisel from South Euclid, Ohio has decided to cast his lot with Cincinnati. We can chalk up this commitment to the combined efforts of runningbacks coach Roy Manning, who is being credited with his first verbal with the Bearcats, and not surprisingly tight ends coach Dave Johnson. Like the Kyle Kempt commitment a couple of weeks ago, Branisel hails from an area of the the Buckeye state only recently being recruited by UC. Shaq Washington got the ball rolling in the 2011 class and it seems Kempt and Branisel will widen the window for the class of 2013. Cincinnati’s new tight end boasts early offers from Missouri, UConn, and a number of MAC programs.

Overview

It’s no wonder the pass-tastic Missouri Tigers were recruiting Branisel because he’s a terrific receiving tight end. Spread offenses, while putting the spotlight on wide receivers, also presents good opportunities for athletic tight ends to shine. Look no further than Aaron Hernandez from Florida who is now with the New England Patriots and Jermaine Gresham from Oklahoma who was drafted in the 1st round by the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s too early to tell if Branisel will develop into the successful tight ends like them but I’m really encouraged by how aggressive he is with the ball in the air. He’s a big target for quarterbacks and is a mismatch when covered by linebackers. They simply can’t keep up with his speed. Really there’s little not to like about this commitment.

Outlook

In 2013, Blake Annen will probably be the starting tight end at Cincinnati and it will be difficult for a true freshman to step in to supplant him. On the other hand, there are few things Branisel needs to improve upon in the passing game and he’s not too shabby at run blocking, either. Still, he will have to jump Josh Russ, Matt Staubach, and DeShawn Dowdy on the two-deep. He will probably take a redshirt for the simple fact that there won’t be enough reps to go around. Finally, I can’t imagine Cincinnati signing another tight end in this class with Kelce and Richardson graduating. The entire 2013 class will be small as it is and there are more pressing needs on this roster.

Topics: Aj Bransiel, Bearcats, Bearcats Football, Cincinnati, Coach Butch Jones, Coach Jones, Nation, Tight End, UC Recruiting

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