Zachariah Branch lands on midseason All-America team after dazzling USC debut
Zachariah Branch burst onto the scene immediately as a freshman and looked like one of the most electric players in all of college football.
He’s missed time this season, but still did enough through USC’s first seven games to land a spot on ESPN’s midseason All-America team on Tuesday. Branch was the top return man on the team for ESPN Chris Low, who wrote the following:
After missing two games with an injury, Branch returned to the lineup for USC’s 48-20 loss at Notre Dame. In his first four games, the true freshman returned both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns. He’s averaging more than 24 yards a return on both punts and kickoffs. Branch, who also has two receiving touchdowns this season, didn’t score against Notre Dame but did have a 60-yard punt return.
In five games this season, Branch has 15 receptions for 195 yards and two scores, five carries for 48 yards, 244 punt return yards, and 217 kick return yards. He’s averaging 18.1 yards a touch.
Branch closed out his first college game with 232 all-purpose yards and two scores.
He returned against Notre Dame and posted four touches for 34 yards on offense, three kick returns for 46 yards, and four punt returns for 86 yards. Branch immediately reminded fans of his ability with a 60-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that directly set up a USC touchdown and brought the Trojans within 11.
He’ll be back on the field Saturday against Utah, with kickoff set for 5 p.m. PT on FOX.