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In My Own Words

Brian Branch says he models his play after Tyrann Mathieu and Troy Polamalu

He was known as an interception highlight in high school, but Brian Branch has grown into a complete defensive back at the University of Alabama.

The native Georgian played his best late in 2021 and finished with 55 tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, and a team-high nine pass breakups. Branch loves to make big hits or be in a position for deflections and interceptions. The 6-foot, 193-pounder enjoys being around the football, and his instincts at nickel (star) assisted the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference title.

On Monday, Branch told Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine that he models his game after Tyrann Mathieu and Troy Polamalu. During the episode of In My Own Words, Alabama fans could see the influence of Mathieu and Polamalu in Branch’s style. He carries the hard-hitting mentality of Polamalu and the big-play mentality of Mathieu on the field.

“I play fast, physical, and I get to the ball,” Branch said in describing his playing style. “I just try to make plays. Every game I go in, I am trying to do those things. I just do my job to try and help the team.”

Mathieu was fast and physical at Louisiana State University, and it allowed him to have a great pro career. He is a Super Bowl Champion and three-time All-Pro first-team selection. Polamalu was one of the hardest-hitting safeties of his generation in the National Football League. He is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, four-time All-Pro first-team selection, eight-time Pro Bowl selection, and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mathieu and Polamalu were game-changers in the defensive secondary.

Branch looks to be a game-changer in the fall as Alabama wants to avenge its national championship loss.

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