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Michigan football commits Viper Joey Velazquez, WR Kalil Branham reflect on BBQ at the Big House experience

Two Michigan football commits had a blast at the recruiting event last weekend and share their experience in exclusive interviews with Maize n Brew.

Michigan Football Spring Game Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

High school football players in the 2019 and beyond classes were in Ann Arbor Saturday for the annual BBQ at the Big House.

Two players that were in attendance were Michigan commits — 2019 Viper Joey Velazquez and 2020 wide receiver Kalil Branham.

Velazquez hails from Columbus, Ohio and made the trip up to Ann Arbor with his family.

“The BBQ at the Big House was great!” Velazquez told Maize n Brew. “The best parts of it was the great time my family had and getting to hangout with the guys in my class and the coaches. It was also great to meet the commits and recruits from different classes. I can just tell you we’re building something special!”

Velazquez is known, on Twitter at least, for being absolutely shredded. For a kid going into his senior season, his strength is impressive and he could probably compete in the weight room with current Michigan players. He is listed at 205 pounds right now, and I don’t have a doubt that he will be stronger by the time he suits up for the Wolverines.

Exhibit A:

On a more serious note, Velazquez hung out with some of the other Michigan commitments in the 2019 class. He is already building relationships with his future teammates

“You know I would say we’re all pretty close,” he said. “I think that’s (one of) the things that’s going to make this class special is that we all really get along, genuinely like and care about each other.”

Velazquez plans on officially visiting this fall for a home game. He isn’t sure which game yet, as he is waiting to see what game some of the other commits plan on going to.

Meanwhile, Branham was also enjoying his time at the recruiting event with his family and some of the other recruits.

“I ate, played cornhole and socialized,” Branham said. “Pretty much all the athletes were there.

“It’s always a great time (at Michigan).”

Branham is a true “Michigan man” through and through. In our exclusive interview with him back in June when he committed, he said, “Football is a large part of me wanting to go to Michigan, but the major part is being a Michigan man and an alumni. You can be too old to play sports but you can never be too old to be a Michigan man.”

He reiterated that statement to Maize n Brew in an interview after the BBQ at the Big House, saying his biggest takeaway from the event is, “Michigan is a top educational college and the earning potential is great. Most players are in grad school by their senior year, also the alumni are global.”

At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Branham is an absolute burner, and has great hands, as evidenced by this video and by this video, respectively.

But this isn’t all about football for him. He has a deep love for the university and the football program, which is kind of rare in collegiate athletes nowadays.

He is a great addition to the Wolverine family, as is Velazquez.

Both kids live in the heart of Buckeye country, and both kids want to represent U-M on the biggest stage.

I’m sure Jim Harbaugh and company wouldn’t want it any other way.