The contenders for Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets graduate transfer offensive guard Parker Braun are starting to take shape — a visit to see the Texas Longhorns, once reported as a possibility, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is set to take place this week.
According to that AJC report and others, Braun took a visit to Florida before National Signing Day and could also visit Miami, Alabama, and Ohio State. On track to graduate in May, Braun is a literature, media, and communication major who is a two-time member of the ACC academic honor roll.
Braun grew up in the state of Florida, where his father is currently the athletic director and assistant head coach at Suwanee High School in Live Oak. His younger brother, Joshua, is a consensus four-star offensive tackle in the 2020 class who plays for his father at Suwanee. However, the elder Braun also spent a year as the offensive line coach at Hallsville, where Parker played his senior season.
So the family has some ties to both states, but the ties to Florida are much stronger.
One appealing aspect of playing for the Gators is the offensive line coach, John Hevesy, an industry stalwart who spent years coaching under Urban Meyer before following Dan Mullen to Mississippi State and then back to Florida.
At Miami, Hayden Mahoney became a graduate transfer and the other starter at guard exhausted his eligibility. Ohio State will have open competitions this spring at two guard spots.
With two open guard spots, Texas can offer a path to playing time, as well as the high-level coaching of co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Herb Hand. The program’s success last season and overall positive trajectory could combine with the success of Calvin Anderson as a fellow graduate transfer offensive lineman to provide an appealing situation for Braun.
So look for the Longhorns to have a strong chance to seriously contend for his services.
As arguably the best graduate transfer offensive guard on the market — and perhaps the best offensive lineman overall — Braun would immediately elevate guard play for the Horns over what Hand was able to get last season from Patrick Vahe, Elijah Rodriguez, and, in a much smaller capacity, Derek Kerstetter.
In fact, the AJC called him one of the team’s best players and one of the best linemen in the Paul Johnson era.
Known for his motor, agility, and power, Braun doesn’t have a lot of experience in pass protection after playing in Johnson’s Flexbone offense, so that’s a potential concern. However, at 6’3 and 280 pounds, Braun has the feet and athleticism to adjust to pass protecting more often, as well as the technique that one would expect from a player coached by his father and from a family of offensive linemen, including his older brother, Trey, who also played at Georgia Tech.
In addition to technique, Braun’s motor and quickness jump out on film — he’s always hustling trying to make an extra block and gets there in a hurry since he’s so lean. As a pulling guard, he can get to the second level quickly, which could make him an asset in the running back and wide receiver screen game.
Braun wore No. 75 and played left guard for Georgia Tech