Zachariah Branch has a chance to be the nation’s best freshman in 2023, according to one ESPN analyst.

On Thursday, ESPN released a roundtable discussion that covered a myriad of topics on the 2023 recruiting cycle, including the potential top freshmen in the class.

Branch was mentioned by ESPN’s Tom Luginbill as a strong candidate. Clemson DL Peter Woods and Ole Miss LB Suntarine Perkins were also mentioned by other analysts.

Here’s Luginbill’s analysis:

Whether he becomes a consistent factor in the passing game or an impact player as a return man, it’s going to be hard to keep Branch off the field. With the loss of Jordan Addison to the NFL draft, Branch is arriving at the perfect time and will have reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams throwing him passes. Branch can play everywhere and is a faster version of Mario Williams.

Branch is USC’s top-ranked signee in the class of 2023. He’s the No. 4 overall player and the No. 1 receiver in the country in this cycle, per 247Sports Composite rankings.

With Jordan Addison turning pro, USC will be looking for other playmakers at receiver to emerge. The Trojans do return Mario Williams and they did add Dorian Singer from Arizona, but there should still be enough room for Branch to contribute at a high level.

USC is hoping to contend for a College Football Playoff berth in 2023.