Georgia Tech goes west for commitment from DE Desmond Branch

The ESPN College GameDay set will not be paying a visit to South Bend, IN HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech has added three commitments after losing two shortly after the end of the season. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech’s commitment spree continued Thursday from an unlikely locale. Desmond Branch, a defensive end from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, gave his commitment. He will enroll in January, Branch’s position coach said Friday.

“He was a great player for us,” Trinity Valley defensive line coach Darius Hart said. “He plays with a high motor.”

Hart further described him as “very athletic” and capable of playing different positions and impacting the game in different ways. Hart said he was also recruited by Mississippi State, SMU, San Diego State and Fresno State.

Branch “enjoyed the campus there, he likes the direction that the program’s headed in,” Hart said. “He just wants to go to a school where he can get a good education.”

Branch’s 10 tackles for loss were second most on the team and his seven sacks led Trinity Valley.

Branch’s commitment follows those from Sonoraville High offensive line prospect Kenny Cooper on Tuesday and South Forsyth wide receiver Jalen Camp. Tech is now up to 11 committed players to the 2016 signing class.

Branch, from Rio Rancho, N.M., redshirted the 2014 season at New Mexico and transferred to Trinity Valley after the season. Hart said he “just wanted a chance, an opportunity to go to a big university like Georgia Tech.” He will have three seasons of eligibility over the next three years.

Branch is 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds and could add another 20 pounds, according to Hart. His older brother is New England Patriots defensive lineman Alan Branch.

While he isn’t the tradition junior-college recruit in that he came to Trinity Valley from an FBS school, he is still the rare commit who will come to Tech directly from a junior college. His path is similar to Tech defensive end Kenderius Whitehead, who redshirted at N.C. State and played one season at Georgia Military College before transferring to Tech prior to the 2014 season.

Rivals reported the commitment Thursday.

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