One of the Trojans’ top defensive signees from the 2022 class has picked up an injury, one that received an announcement on Thursday from USC head coach Lincoln Riley.

Riley was vague with regards to both the injury and its severity, but did confirm that freshman defensive back Zion Branch has sustained “a lower extremity injury” from an offseason workout on Monday.

“I’m confident he will attack the rehab process with full force and a strong mindset,” Riley said. “Zion has been extremely impressive during our summer workouts and has shown us that he is primed for a tremendous career at USC. We look forward to having him back on the field.”

According to a report from, the injury Branch sustained is to his left knee and he was seen on campus with a large brace over his leg.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety from Bishop Gorman was expected to compete for early playing time in the Trojans’ secondary. Branch joined the program as a high-4-star prospect and the sixth-ranked safety in his class. He arrived this summer, looking to compete with the likes of Calen Bullock, Latrell McCutchin, Bryson Shaw, and Xavion Alford for playing time at safety.

The Trojans have options, but they certainly don’t want to see such a promising youngster sit on the shelf for too long.