USC signee Zachariah Branch gets major love after All-America game performance
USC head coach Lincoln Riley had to be grinning ear to ear watching 5-star 2023 wideout Zachariah Branch ball out at the Under Armour All-America game earlier this week.
A top-10 prospect in the country for his class, Branch reminded everyone why he was so sought after as a recruit, and why USC was so ecstatic to land him. He had a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown in a game that ended 14-7. Speed was on full display, and he earned the game’s MVP honor because of it.
— All-America Game (@UANextFootball) January 3, 2023
After, 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins handed out superlatives from the week of prep leading up to the game and the game itself. Branch was named the ‘Most Exciting.’ Here’s what Ivins wrote:
Zachariah Branch made the play of the game when he returned a punt (93) yards for six points in the first half. The Tyreek Hill comps might have some rolling their eyes, but Branch looks like an exact replica of the Cheetah with his muscular build and first-class burst. Branch is a chunk play waiting to happen and should be viewed as the type of wide receiver that can turn a simple (5)-yard slant into an 80-yard touchdown. Lincoln Riley has already brought an abundance of playmakers to Los Angeles and Branch is going to make the Trojans even more difficult to scheme against over the next few years.
A 5-foot-10 receiver from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, Branch ranked as the fifth-best recruit in the country and the top wideout from the 2023 class. He committed to USC back on Christmas Eve 2021 and never wavered in that pledge, signing with the program during the Early Signing Period last month.
At USC, he’s joining a room stuffed to the brim with talent. And yet it would surprise no one if Branch emerged as an immediate contributor for Riley and the Trojans.