Kalil Branham is the first member of Michigan’s 2020 recruiting class.
The Columbus (Ohio) Northland 3-star wide receiver/running back tweeted his commitment Tuesday — while also paying tribute to his grandfather, who passed away about a year ago.
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) June 19, 2018
Branham competed at Michigan’s camp Monday but did not receive an offer. The following day, Jim Harbaugh called his father to talk with Branham. Once the offer was on the table, Branham committed.
“I thought I did really well at camp and they said they liked me, but they didn’t offer,” Branham told 247Sports’ Bill Greene. “When [Harbaugh] offered me [Tuesday afternoon], I told him I wanted to take it. Coach Harbaugh seemed pretty excited that I committed, and said all the coaches are looking forward to being able to coach me.”
Despite the family’s Columbus roots, Branham’s grandfather was a diehard Michigan fan.
“When Coach Harbaugh offered me a lot of things went through my head, mostly that all my hard work was paying off,” Branham said. “I know [my grandfather] would be very proud and happy today, and everything I do it’s all for his memory. This would have been a big moment for him.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound slot receiver has offers from Michigan, Akron, Boston College, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Toledo, Wake Forest and Youngstown State. He took an unofficial visit to Michigan in March before camping in Ann Arbor just a day ago.
Branham is ranked No. 321 in the 2020 class, No. 36 at wide receiver and No. 5 in Ohio, according to 247Sports.
“For Michigan, I will bring the will to dominate and [have] a great work ethic,” Branham said.
Another interesting part of Branham’s commitment is his relationship with Cincinnati St. Xavier High star and 2020 5-star tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Following his commitment to Michigan, Branham posted on Twitter: “Now, I want my dude Paris Johnson to join the winningest team in college football history, the Harvard of the Midwest. Go Blue! Come be a Michigan Man for Life. Our dads know each other.”
That was Branham’s second directed at Johnson, coming five minutes after Branham tweeted: “My guy looks like a Michigan man. We need you. Let’s go be the next 2020 you know you position always goes high in the draft from Michigan. 2 Ohio boys.”
It clearly seems like the two are close, so Branham could play a factor in Johnson’s collegiate decision.
Johnson is ranked the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2020 class, No. 2 at his position and No. 1 in Ohio, according to the 247Sports composite. He has offers from 43 schools, including Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Clemson, Georgia, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss and Southern Cal.