USC Football Summer Enrollee Report: Zion Branch

Summer is underway for the Trojans, which means the rest of the USC High School 2022 signees will be enrolling on campus in the coming weeks. Here we take a look at each of the incoming USC rookies and their potential impact this fall. The series returns with a great safety pickup. All rankings are generated via the 247Sports Composite unless otherwise stated.

Zion branch

Position: security

Height: 6-foot-2

weight: 195

ranking: Overall View #58, Security #6

Statistics: 42 tackles, two TFL, seven pass breakups


Overview:

It’s been a fairly seamless transition for Lincoln Riley and his new staff, with the recruitment of blue-chip Security Division Zion, a prime target for the last USC staff and Riley’s Oklahoma staff. Riley’s hiring was the final nudge Branch needed to put USC ahead of Ohio State, who took the lead in their recruiting after the turmoil in the Trojans’ 4-8 season. Branch is one of the gems of the 2022 high school class, the second-highest prospect with a strong chance to play right away in a defense that needs more talent. At least that’s the expectation. Like Bishop Gorman teammate Fabian Ross, Branch has a head start with his development from the national prep program.


Possible effects:

Many new faces will be coming to campus over the next few weeks, most of them prospective students. But Branch is one of the more exciting newbies in this class as he can come in and play from the jump. USC has plenty of security options to work with in 2022 thanks to a plethora of signers in 2021, some transfer pickups and returning Freshman All-American starter Calen Bullock. There are no slam dunk starters outside of Bullock, with Xavion Alford (injured in the spring), Latrell McCutchin and Xamarion Gordon being the top contenders for that other spot. Branch certainly has the talent to throw himself into the competition once he arrives.

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Branch has the disadvantage that enrollment takes place in the summer and not in the spring, so there is some catching up to do with the regulation. Unless there’s a delay in Branch taking over defense, I’d have a hard time saying Branch isn’t playing in 2022 and has a really good shot to at least get down the two deeps and maybe start similar to Bullock at some point promotion last season. Branch will be one of the most physically impressive (arguably) defenders on the team in 2022… as a true freshman. let that sink


Previous reports:

Punter Atticus Bertrams

Outside linebacker Garrison Madden

Edge rusher Devan Thompkins

Cornerback Fabian Ross

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