Branum treated like non-walkon by UT staff

When Nick Branum reports June 1 for his first team meeting with the University of Tennessee football team, he'll be a walk-on officially.

But Branum won't see it that way.

"(Defensive coordinator Monte) Kiffin said the walk-on word isn't even a word he wants to use," said the 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back from Catholic High School.

"It hasn't even crossed my mind to think I'm a walk-on, how they've treated me."

Branum told Tennessee coaches Tuesday he would accept the preferred walk-on spot. In the two weeks prior, he met with members of the staff three times to talk football Xs and Os and the possibility of a role with the team.

He didn't walk into the athletic department offices on flower petals or red carpets, but he was "catered to." It could be an early testament as to how significant the first-year Tennessee staff considers its walk-on spots. South-Doyle offensive lineman Chase Phillips will also walk on.

Branum talked to defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin "every two days" and even sat with him to break down film of Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Sabbi Piscitelli and former Tampa Bay safety John Lynch.

"(Monte) really wants me to play like them," said Branum, who had 35 tackles, eight pass break-ups and three interceptions this past season. "They want to use me inside the box and cover all the way out into the flats.

"He taught me so much from the three meetings we had. He knows so much about football."

Branum, who has been clocked as low as 4.37 seconds in the 40, fractured a vertebrae this past season and missed roughly half the games, he said. But the limited game film he had from his senior season still carried a "wow" element. Mississippi State and Alabama also wanted Branum on their campuses.

"When Mississippi State, Alabama and Tennessee saw my film," said Branum, "they - Coach (Monte) Kiffin was like, 'Wow. I can't believe that we're actually lucky enough that you haven't signed yet.' "

Branum hopes to earn a scholarship soon, even as early as this fall.

"(Tennessee's coaches) said, 'You're going to have the opportunity when we come into fall camp to show us what you can do. Everything we're going to give you is yours to lose. So, if you play as hard as you can and do whatever you can to get on the field, you'll earn a scholarship.' "

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Comments » 45

vol_chaz writes:

love to see more local kids...good article.

tennezz writes:

I hope it works out for this young man, I`m sure Monte has an eye for talent!

ThaiVolFan writes:

good speed. sounds like a good deal for all involved. GBO

old_number1 writes:

I wish KNS would have told us in the earlier article about Branum that he missed half the games with a broken vertebrae! I was wondering why he had no scholorship offers. That explains it! He may be a diamond in the rough!

EZVOL writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Unless you can say you are in every staff meeting and have heard conversations that can back that kind of talk up, you should keep it to yourself. I've heard nothing from CLK that would warrant a comment like that. This is the way big time football is played. Small-minded people have problems with change. So get over it.

StroVol writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You idiot! Right, I'm so sure at Bama they tell the walk ons thanks for coming on to get your head beat in, by the way there is no chance you'll see the field. No, they tell em what they want to hear to get em to compete. "Rudy" must be your favorite movie". And your right, some do leave because it's obvious they are not moving up the depth chart.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is exactly why those kids left! Kiffin wasn't blowing smoke up their wazzoo. He shot it straight with them and said your not going to see anything but the back of my head on game days. I fail to see how that is two-faced.....splain yoself

dvhill100 writes:

Good luck young man. If you stick with it and show you have some skill, you will be successful.

panties4tebow writes:

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Good luck, young man.

There is plenty of room in the cupboard HCLK inheireted.

Volunatic writes:

Good luck to you, Nick! Vol fans are hoping you'll do well.
Ignore any comments by BobbeaCommodore and wlCommodore-- they are bitter that they never did anything worthwhile and thus never had articles written about them.

GotPearl writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are an idiot !!!

Mansonlamps writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another Fulmer lover. Still bitter because they backed the loser last year. Get over it, bitter Fulmer lover.

mattfriedman58#226364 writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're right... the players should just aim low, why bother setting high expectations for yourself... pessimist!! Remind me never to come to you for a pep talk.

al2476 writes:

Wlvol, you have been in the kool-aid too long and it has damaged your brain.
Either get on board and support the vols or go with the dores, that is the way they think.

KCHS63 writes:

I'm not sure, but wasn't Monte at Nebraska for a while? Walk-ons were their backbone during their dynasty years.

panties4tebow writes:

Click on the link below to see a picture of gatorz4 waiting on dc!

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcsi...

panties4tebow writes:

Sorry for the dead link in the previous post.....this link should work. See gatorz4 waiting on dc!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcsi...

Volunatic writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, he's a "walk-on". He may be a permanent practice squad member, but he may work really hard and get playing time, BobbeaCommodeOdor.

Go4Two writes:

in response to KCHS63:

I'm not sure, but wasn't Monte at Nebraska for a while? Walk-ons were their backbone during their dynasty years.

Yea walk ons an a little juice.

old_number1 writes:

in response to myfollower#555763:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is too funny!! The funniest part is that he does not know what you just called him! But I like it even better than bobbean-azz (the one I came up with)!

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you even read the article before making that post?

Hounddog writes:

in response to panties4tebow:

Sorry for the dead link in the previous post.....this link should work. See gatorz4 waiting on dc!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcsi...

Can't you just see the excited anticipation in gator's eyes?

Volumni writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for checking in,Vicki!
Phil will be home from the free employees buffet soon with new Health insurance forms you have to fill out, and all your UT employee discount cards. Enjoy!

Pops writes:

Don't forget Allan Houston was technically a walk-on

mytrifecta writes:

why don't they take the scholarship away from the convicted rapist and give it this guy?

commonsense32 writes:

This is a great story, and I sincerely hope you work out young man. Walk on's were a part of Nebraska's backbone during the Osborne "glory years". Walk on atheletes tend to be the hardest workers and also keep their noses clean.. So just because somebody walks on does not mean they are relegated to the practice squad.. In 3 years this guy may be the 2nd coming of Eric....... To be continued.....

bkgunter writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The practice squad: Not just your obsession, but your only area of expertise.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Mansonlamps:

Another Fulmer lover. Still bitter because they backed the loser last year. Get over it, bitter Fulmer lover.

I doubt wlvol loves much of anything.

Volunatic writes:

in response to bkgunter:

The practice squad: Not just your obsession, but your only area of expertise.

You are overstating BobbeaCommodeOdor's expertise.
I heard he once won at Nintendo Tecmo Bowl, but he was playing against his grandmother.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Pops:

Don't forget Allan Houston was technically a walk-on

Who could've played anywhere he pleased.

When Wade Houston came to Tennessee he screwed up 2 programs....UT and Louisville. Allan was the missing link on at least 2 U of L teams that could've been in the NC mix.

RJP11 writes:

This is all well & good ... but if anyone actually believes this kid runs a sub-4.4 forty, I've got some commercial mortgage backed securities I'll sell ya real cheap ...

KCHS63 writes:

in response to RJP11:

This is all well & good ... but if anyone actually believes this kid runs a sub-4.4 forty, I've got some commercial mortgage backed securities I'll sell ya real cheap ...

Well, if you've got commercial mortgage backed securities, you've got a lot more problems than football fandom to worry about. Good luck.

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really?

KCHS63 writes:

in response to Go4Two:

Yea walk ons an a little juice.

The only juice involved was the brown stuff from Lynchburg a certain head coach was consuming while Tom Osborne was running circles around him and everybody else in the NCAA. Tennessee proudly hails the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 90s. The 70s and 80s? Not so much.

CoverOrange writes:

Read an article a few weeks back (not on KNS) about how talent may not just be inherited but can be developed by obsessive practice and determination to improve. Think Larry Bird, Pete Maravich, Peyton Manning, Dale Ellis. Not saying this kid will be like those guys but maybe Monte sees that determination in him. Either that or they are just waiting to see who else from JC will sign.

Irwin_Linker writes:

To everyone who responds to wlvol, please remember he is a Memphis State fan. He's not worth responding to, and has failed to make a factual or relevant post to date.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Irwin_Linker:

To everyone who responds to wlvol, please remember he is a Memphis State fan. He's not worth responding to, and has failed to make a factual or relevant post to date.

I thought wlvol was a devoted Fulmer fan who blames Kiffin for Fulmer's forced "resignation".
I like Fulmer, but I'm sure glad he's not the Vols' coach anymore.

Voluvr writes:

I see the staff in the sleigh with Rudolph leading the way through the storm and just then, the glow shines on the island of misfit toys that are now going to find a home.

These guys find talent everywhere.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jajuan was a terrific player. I didn't know he was a walk on.

old_number1 writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Four, he is a useless loper. Don't waste your time on him. BTW, your right!

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

WOW who could have "thunk it" A player earning his...
Man I never remember that happening with Fulmer.
We just may have something with this group of coaches.
I think they will get the most out of every player on this team...unlike Fulmer.
I am pleased once again.
In other news Gatorz has pleased DC once again!

I had to say that!

bluetick writes:

in response to EZVOL:

Unless you can say you are in every staff meeting and have heard conversations that can back that kind of talk up, you should keep it to yourself. I've heard nothing from CLK that would warrant a comment like that. This is the way big time football is played. Small-minded people have problems with change. So get over it.

Bravo! +1

tovolny writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

wlvol, you seem more like a Vandy fan. How can you possibly have this rotten attitude and be a Vol fan?
At least, give CK a half season before bashing his and his fater's character...c'mon MAN!!!!

kwvolsfan writes:

in response to mytrifecta:

why don't they take the scholarship away from the convicted rapist and give it this guy?

If I recall D.Hood was charged with delinquency! So that make you wrong on that fact. And unless you have attained GOD status (which you haven't) then you need to sit down and STFU, peckerhead!

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