Meet 6-foot-6 Josh Braun: Brains, rhinos, swing dancing, tennis and a mauler’s mindset

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4-star OT prospect Josh Braun has UGA as one of his three finalists.

Josh Braun trains to be a RHINO.

  • R: Relentless
  • H: Hard
  • I: Intense
  • N: Nasty
  • O: O-lineman

That is the way to lead off things about a massive prospect who has caught the attention of Sam Pittman. The 4-star OT rates as the nation’s No. 26 prospect at his position. That will slot him on the 247Sports Composite at No. 257 overall for 2020.

The ratings will mean very little to him. His game tape is his football DNA.

In a world where the O-line still gets called the “Hogs” dating back to Joe Gibbs and the Washington Redskins in the 1980s, his father found a better term in that “RHINO” for offensive linemen.

Mike Braun is the athletic director, line coach and running game coordinator at Suwannee High in Florida. His vision of a lineman is a great athlete. Not a pot belly wallowing in the mud.

His youngest son, Josh, is beyond the ordinary hornbill. That was why recent commitment Tate Ratledge called Braun his top target last week.

What does Braun like best about Georgia? He led off with a repeated theme in our exchange.

“Once more I have to bring up their great academics,” he said. “But aside from academics, Tate Ratledge just committed. He is one of the top offensive linemen in the country. Playing with him would be good for my game and good for his game. Through the years if we played together, we’d have a pretty solid tackle base.”

“There is another great tackle coming in, too. [5-star Broderick Jones] I think they have two. So the guys in my class would be the best in the nation. The defensive lineman I’d be playing against would be the best in the nation. If you are going against those guys in practice and playing with those guys on Saturday, you’re going to be prepared for whatever comes at you. So that’s what I am attracted to at Georgia.”

He has a unique look at his position fit.

“I’d say I have a tackle’s body with a guard’s mindset,” Josh Braun said.

He will stand over six feet, six inches in height. Braun just tells schools he is 78 inches tall. He is at least that tall. The Braun recruitment is built around certainties.

His college choice will also reflect that. When he commits, that will be it.

Rhinos aren’t known for drama. This one especially. He will not fret over an early position fit.

“First and foremost, it is just to help the team,” he said. “Contribute any way I can. But then as I establish myself as a team player and develop my game enough I will probably transition to mainly tackle. That’s what all the coaches I have talked to have said I will have the most opportunities at. They also say I could play guard and tackle and I can learn how to play center if we were in desperate need.”

4-star OT Josh Braun will give UGA his last official visit in June. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

THE QUICK READ ON JOSH BRAUN

  • The wingspan has been measured at 84 inches. That is the prototype for an elite college left tackle. “I’ve told coach Pittman if you can make him into an Isaiah Wilson, then that’s what we would like to have happen here,” his father Mike Braun said. 
  • Is from an OL family that sent two brothers off to play major snaps at Georgia Tech.
  • Carries a 4.0 and a 33 on his ACT with another 1480 on his Sat. Bruan is set on becoming a National Merit Scholar.
  • He’s down to three schools. He just visited Florida on one of his three decision-defining officials.
  • When he drops about 20-25 pounds for the season, he will wield a guard’s agility in a tackle’s body. Pittman has told the Brauns he can play all over the line. The emphasis is at tackle.
  • His father, Mike, played for Army. Both of his parents are West Point grads.
  • His older brother, Trey, started 34 straight games at Tech after a redshirt year. He was a mechanical engineering grad and carried a 4.0 grade-point average as an MBA student. Trey Braun made the Dean’s list five times at Tech prior to his final season in 2015. The Jackets won the Orange Bowl in his time and even beat the Bulldogs.
  • South Carolina will get its official visit on May 31-June 1.
  • Georgia will get its 48-hour official on June 15. He hopes to make a decision after all three visits.
  • These three programs were nowhere near the options his family thought would be in it at the end. The data and diligence led to those three schools.

A dancer’s feet on the OL? Josh Braun works on those

Braun is a RHINO that can dance. He partnered up with a 6-foot-1 dancer at his school because she needed a partner who was tall enough to perform with.

“Last year I was taking [Advanced Placement Psychology] and my A.P. Psych teacher is also a dance teacher,” Josh Bruan said. “Her daughter is dating my best friend. So she needed two guys to dance with two of her dancers in a production. So she asked my friend and myself because we had a girl who was about 6-foot-1 and she needed a partner.”

In most cases, the male teenager at this age makes decisions based on two factors: Food. Something about a girl. Or all of the above.

“It was just helping out a teacher of mine who has been a great teacher and also a friend,” he said.

The college experience of his brothers continues to benefit him. Parker Braun followed his oldest brother, Trey, to Tech. But he recently made a graduate transfer to Texas after two straight years of All-ACC recognition.

“Not that I know what [college football] will be like,” Josh Braun said. “But I have a better understanding of how hard it will be. Some of the kids who don’t have family members playing at the collegiate level aren’t aware that recruiting is a smokescreen. To get there it is going to be a thousand times harder. It is going to be this and that.”

“So just having my brothers go through that, I can have their ear and they can guide me through this process. When I get there, I will know what to expect.”

His makeup on and off the field comes from both siblings.

“I learned the intensity to play with from my middle brother Parker,” Josh Braun said. “I model my athletics around my middle brother Parker and I model my academics after my older brother Trey.”

Braun checks even more boxes than the first few volleys here. This RHINO stands out with more of the following:

  • Plays the No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles for his high school tennis team. The video captures here look like the way the “Hulk” from Marvel Comics lore might play ping pong.
  • Doesn’t do Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. Social media seems to be very anti-RHINO.
  • Believes his high school film is his DNA. That’s why he will not do camps or showcases events to enhance his ratings.
  • An interview opportunity with Braun must be scheduled around workouts and study sessions.
  • There will be no worries about playing time. Per his father, it is about development. Braun should not start at any of these schools until he is ready to dominate as one of the top linemen on the team.
  • Fast track to the NFL? Braun will likely look at college as a quest for a master’s degree. Not a fast lane to shake Roger Goodell’s hand. He will leave college when he has nothing left to learn from his coaches, strength coaches and most importantly the university faculty.

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