Alabama has been a factory for defensive backs since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa and Brian Branch could be the next one to hear his name called early on draft day. ESPN NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid spoke highly of the junior defensive back on Twitter.

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“Alabama safety Brian Branch is impressive. Primarily playing nickel, he’s a great fit in today’s NFL. Savvy in zone, reliable in man, and physical as a tackler/blitzer/run defender,” Reid wrote.

After splitting time with Malachi Moore at the star position each of first couple of seasons on campus, Branch became the full-time starter in 2022 and excelled. He registered 78 tackles, including ten for loss, two sacks, seven pass breakups and an interception. Branch received first-team All-America honors from CBS Sports and ESPN and second-team All-American honors from the Associated Press.

The Georgia native has not declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and based on his comments last week during Alabama’s media availability, he could be keeping the option of returning for his senior season on the table.

"I feel like the secondary next year is probably going to be better than the secondary this year. I feel like more players, more of my teammates will be more comfortable. Just, I expect big things from the secondary," said Branch.

Branch has until Monday, Jan. 16 to make a decision on what his plans will be for next season.

Alabama will face Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31 in New Orleans. Kickoff is set at 11 a.m. CT and coverage will be on Tide 100.9.

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