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Football influences: Andre Branch

We know that every NFL player is extremely talented. They wouldn't have made it this far if they weren't. But playing in the NFL is more than just physical talent. So to find out what drives them, focuses their energy and mind, and is important to them, I asked several Jaguars the following question: "Who was and is your biggest football influence?"

The answers were diverse and interesting.

Today we find out about former Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, a third-year player from Richmond, Virginia.

Who was your biggest football influence growing up?

Branch: My mother [Paulette Battle] and both my grandfathers [Orlandus Branch and Lucion Battle]. Because I do this for my mom and both my grandfathers, who are deceased. That’s who I play for. I pray to them before every game and I owe them that. They always were there for me, so this is how I’m changing my family around.

So they helped you learn the game?

Branch: My mom never missed a game. Ever. She never missed a game, no matter what. If I redshirted, she didn’t miss. No matter what state I was in, she didn’t [miss]. My grandfathers, they made me the man I am now. Not having my father there every day, they picked that up. That’s who I do it for.

So it wasn't necessarily football skills. They were your biggest supporters?

Branch: Through the highs and lows.