USC football: 3 freshmen poised to make an immediate impact in 2022

Evan Desai
Raleek Brown, USC Football, USC Trojans
Raleek Brown, USC Football, USC Trojans / Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Staff
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USC football had a disappointing 2022 recruiting class when it came to their high school signings. It was for somewhat good reason, however, as they found a better way to build the roster in the unique situation they were in with their coaching change.

They prioritized building through the transfer portal over trying to sign only high school recruits when a high majority of the high school recruits were already committed before Lincoln Riley was hired.

Riley ended up bringing USC from outside the top 100 and into the top six of the overall recruiting rankings (all recruiting rankings and ratings in article are as of 247Sports). Part of that was due to the strength of the high school kids that SC was able to bring in. In fact, three of them are ready to impact this team right away:

No. 3 freshman poised to make an immediate impact for USC football in 2022: Zion Branch

Zion Branch recently suffered a lower extremity injury, which is a bummer for USC football. This happened in summer workouts, after he had really been impressing this offseason. He was putting himself in position to maybe being the No. 3 safety on this team.

That still goes to show, however, that as soon as he gets back he has what it takes to make a strong impact early. The ONLY thing that's held him back from the terrific offseason he was having was an injury.

The No. 1 recruit in Nevada may miss significant time, but his significant talent is still there to hit the ground running when his recovery time is up.