Branden Albert: From Nowhere to Opportunity


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  • Offensive
    Lineman
  • 6-7, 310 pounds
  • Glen Burnie High School (Glen Burnie, MD)
  • Dual sport athlete in football and basketball
  • Senior Line: 65 tackles
  • First-team All-Metro honors – Baltimore Sun
  • Committed to UVa on February 4, 2004

Playing football is a game for gladiators, for strong-willed, tough-minded competitors, but also a game for the
thinking man, a man with technique, fundamentals and oh yeah, size helps, too.

Take 6’7" 310 pound, slimmed-down Branden Albert , a man amongst boys at Glenn Burnie High School. He can
attest point-blank that size alone does not make a football player, or at least a good one. Albert checked in at 340
pounds when he moved from New York to Glenn Burnie, Maryland, but did not know a lick about the fundamentals of
football.

Albert grew up with his father making nary a presence, and entering his formative years, the young man faced more and
more negative influences, especially from the streets. Albert’s older brother, Ashley Sims, played football at
Maryland and told Albert that with his size combined with hard work, he could earn a D-I scholarship.

This is a kid who faced tremendous adversity, yet managed to keep fighting for a better future. While many kids today
in the inner city grow up without hope, Albert discovered hope and opportunity through his brother, but give him credit
for recognizing and taking advantage of the situation.

Living with his mother and lacking a father figure, Albert and his mother agreed that he would benefit from the
paternal influence of his older brother, Ashley Sims, and family, including Sims’ wife and Albert’s two nieces.

Just two years after leaving New York for a safer haven in Maryland, the young big man finds himself on the verge of
migrating further south, this time as a student-athlete at the University of Virginia.

Not bad for a mere two-year starter along the offensive and defensive line for Glenn Burnie High School football
coach Brad Wilson. Well, not only a two-year starter, but a two-year starter who had never participated

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