Florida Football Recruiting: Antonio Branch mops up the mess on defense

The safety from Miami is slated to visit Florida in June
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2024 recruiting cycle, Gregory Smith was a late find for the Gators who they hope will pay big dividends down the road.

So it may be easy to dismiss the star rating of Antonio Branch when he visits Gainesville next month, but the Gators are hoping to find a diamond in Miami.

Florida Football: Swinging From A Branch

Branch is a safety listed at 6'2" and 175 pounds. Three of the four recruiting services list him as a mid-level three-star, while ESPN has him as a four-star.

The three-star rating is fair because on film there isn't anything Earth shattering to warrant a four, but don't mistake that for his ability to play solid ball on defense.

Branch was often called into action to clean up the mess on the backside and was able to do so with consistency. He doesn't look for the type of game changing hit that makes opponents regret playing football, but he does great to come downhill and wrap up to stop ball carriers in their tracks.

If a play is held up at the line, Branch has the speed to come to the line to make the play. But if he finds himself as the last man back in the open field, he doesn't panic, even when he is a single high safety.

Branch recently took a visit to Nebraska, and while his name has been a bit more under the radar in the public eye as it relates to Florida, he did confirm with 247 that he will be taking a visit to Gainesville in June.

Based on his profile, he will also be taking official visits to Penn State and Louisville.

Nebraska appears to be in the lead for Branch, so it will be a matter of how hard does the Gator staff push to gain traction to keep him in the Sunshine State.