FAYETTEVILLE — Fort Smith Southside Class of 2024 offensive guard Kobe Branham has gained an offer from Texas A&M’s Bobby Petrino as well as visit to his school from Arkansas’ Cody Kennedy.

Branham, 6-6, 320, was offered by the Aggies and Petrino on Thursday. On Friday, Kennedy, who coaches the Arkansas offensive line, was at Southside checking in on Branham. Branham talked about what it meant to him to get that first offer out of the way.

“It was everything I’ve been wanting,” Branham said. “I have worked my butt off for that. I knew it would come, but I had to just keep going until it came.”

Branham is a junior for the Mavericks who starts at guard. He talked about his strengths and why schools such as Texas A&M, Arkansas and others are looking at him.

“I think my run blocking is real good,” Branham said. “I’m real aggressive when I get in contact with people.”

As far as Kennedy coming by the school to check in on him that was something impressive to Branham.

“It was awesome,” Branham said. “I’m glad they got high on me. We’re only 45 minutes away and I’m glad they came down.”

Branham also talked about what an offer to the Razorbacks would mean to him.

“It would mean everything,” Branham said. “A home-town offer. That would be awesome.”

Branham is named after the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

“My dad did name me after Kobe Bryant,” Branham said. “People think it’s spelled different, but it’s spelled exactly like Kobe Bryant.”

It appears Branham will have a couple of busy Saturdays coming up. He is tentatively set to visit Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 21, for a Prospect Day though that could change and he will be at Texas A&M on Jan. 28.

“I’ve got to go to Texas A&M on Jan. 28 so it’s either this upcoming Saturday (Jan. 21) or a couple other Saturdays (to visit Arkansas),” Branham said. “It will probably be the 21st.”

Both Texas A&M and Arkansas would offer Branham a chance to play in the SEC. That’s something very appealing to him.

“It would mean a lot,” Branham said. “That’s what everybody wants…the SEC. To be a big-time offensive lineman in the SEC would be amazing.”

Branham is certain to gain more offers going forward. He talked about what he’s looking for in a college.

“A good O-line coach comes first,” Branham said. “An offensive line coach that’s a joy to work with. An offensive line coach that knows a lot about football.”

Branham reflected back on how he feels his junior season went for him personally.

“I think it went great,” Branham said. “I didn’t allow any sacks. I run blocked how I wanted to. I prefer guard, but I can play tackle as well.”

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