Diamond in the Rough: IOL Kobe Branham

Kobe Branham is a 3-star offensive lineman from Southside High School Mavericks, located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He is a player who can play and has experience in any position on that offensive line, but he plays most of his snaps at right guard. The senior lineman is 6’7” and 335 pounds. He uses his massive build to triumph over his opponents on the other side of the line. A talented run blocker, Kobe will move defenders with ease to open up holes for his running backs to explode through. Kobe is committed to playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks next year.

I recently had a chance to interview Kobe:

Q: When did you start playing football?

“I started playing football at the age of 4 for Fort Smith Boys and Girls club.”

Q: What are your hobbies off of the football field?

“My hobbies off the field are deer hunt and play golf.”

Q: What is your favorite football memory?

“Playing youth football for the Buffalos and going 4 straight years undefeated, then traveling to football tournaments after the season.”

Q: Have you always played offensive line in football? If not, what other positions did you play?

“I have always played O-Line, but I also played D-Line until 10th grade. Defense was honestly my better position.”

Q: You are listed as a right guard, is that the only position you play on the line?

“I started as a tackle when I was a sophomore, and I can also play center. So, I can play any spot on the O-Line.”

Q: What is your favorite part of being an offensive lineman?

“Being in the trenches, being able to be physical and get hands on someone every snap.”

Q: What are your biggest strengths on the football field?

“I would have to say my biggest strengths are my actual strength and aggressiveness. I’d also have to say my football IQ.”

Q: What have you worked on over the offseason to improve your game?

“I worked on my flexibility and footwork, as an offensive lineman those two things translate to the field the most.”

Q: How important is technique and footwork to you?

“It’s very important, after practice I go to a trainer and work on that for another two hours four days a week. I take technique and footwork very seriously”

Q: What have you learned about yourself while playing football?

“A lot about self-discipline and how to work hard to achieve your goals.”

Q: Besides football, do you play any other sports?

“I stopped all other sports in the 10th grade to focus on football. Football is my passion and I wanted to put all of my time and effort in it.”

Q: What is your favorite accomplishment so far in your football career?

“The fact that I’ve started every game in high school and haven’t given up one sack in three years is my greatest accomplishment.”

Q: What is your personal goal for the season?

“Win state championship!”

Q: Who would you say your biggest role model is?

“My dad, he’s been there for everything I’ve ever done, and I know I can always count on him.”

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the field?

“Patients, I’ve got two young guys on either side of me this year who have done a great job, but I had to learn to be patient early.”

Q: What do you think you still need to improve on throughout the remainder of this season?

“There is always ways to improve in football at any level. In my eyes, I’m never good enough and will always work harder to get better at anything and everything I possible can.”

Q: Are there any current NFL or college players that you like to study their film or model your game after?

“I would say some people I model my game after and look up to are Quinton Nelson, Zach Martin, and Lane Johnson, to name a few.”

Q: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking more?

“Athough I love both, I love run blocking. I like to get my hand on the defenders quick and get the upper hand.”

Q: How would your teammates describe you?

“I think, my teammates look at me as a leader for this team, but also that guy you don’t want to lineup across from.”

Q: How was the recruiting process for you?

“At first, it was a whirlwind with phone calls every day, visits every week. I will say I enjoyed it but it did get a little overwhelming at times.”

Q: What made you want to choose Arkansas?

“I love the fact that it’s 45 minutes from home. Aside from that, I’ve been a Hogs fan my entire life. It been a dream of mine to play for them. I love the staff. Coach Pittman is a player’s coach and Coach Kennedy, and I built an early bond. It just felt like the right place for me!”

Q: What is something you want your college coaches to know about you for the next upcoming year?

“I want it! I’m going to out work everyone to get it, and I’m always going to go the extra mile.”

Q: What is one thing you are looking forward to playing football at the next level?

“Running through that A for the first time in that Arkansas uniform and knowing my family and friends are there cheering for me! It’s going to be a special day.”