Bellevue senior linebacker Mustafa Branch announced his commitment to Stanford on Sunday via Twitter.
— Mustafa Branch (@mubranch20) September 29, 2014
The 6-foot, 211-pound senior is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com. The Cardinal had been interested since Branch attended their Junior Day. Stanford coaches were in attendance at Bellevue’s game Friday. Branch received a call Sunday from Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart, his primary recruiter, with an offer and Branch made the decision to commit about an hour later.
“They’re obviously a really good academic school and one of the best in the country on the field as well,” Branch said. “I’m still in shock.”
Branch is playing inside linebacker for Bellevue, but said he is unsure where Stanford projects him. He also held offers from California, Duke, Northwestern, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State, among others. Branch said he didn’t have a favorite, but immediately jumped on the opportunity to attend Stanford.
“I’m excited for him,”Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said. “It’s a great fit for him.”
Former Bellevue offensive lineman David DeCastro also played at Stanford, but Branch said he has never spoken with him. Academics are very important to Branch, though, and he originally was looking at Ivy League schools before his recruitment opened.
“To be honest I’ve been more focused on academics since I was a little kid,” Branch said. “It’s a good way to get to college.”
Goncharoff called Branch an intelligent player that can run and hit with the best of them. He compared his explosive ability to that of former Bellevue star and current UCLA player Myles Jack.