USC football faces devastating injury blow to promising true freshman defensive back

Donte Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans
Donte Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USC football's true freshman safety Zion Branch recently suffered a lower extremity injury in summer workouts, and it looks like he could miss significant time.

There is no official timetable for the injury that has dropped just yet, but considering it was described as a "lower extremity injury," it very well could be serious and cost him significant time in the 2022 season. Here is Lincoln Riley's statement on the injury:

As Riley said, Branch has really been impressing this offseason in his chances to show for it. He was putting himself in position to being the next man up if an injury happened to one of the likely starting safeties in Xavion Alford or Calen Bullock.

The four-star (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports) out of Bishop Gorman was someone both the team and the fans were absolutely ECSTATIC to see.

With Zion Branch likely out for a long time, USC football will need other top recruits to step up.

If Zion Branch does indeed miss a lot of time with USC football, look for some other blue chip recruits who haven't got the chance to play yet to make efforts to step up. Perhaps 2021 four-star Xamarion Gordon takes advantage of more reps, or maybe 2020 four-star Chris Thompson Jr.

Neither have played a ton outside of Thompson getting five games for SC last year. He only got four for Auburn before he transferred to the Trojans. They needed to be pushing themselves in the first place. Now playing time is maybe plausible for them and right there for the taking.

SC will likely start Bullock (Free Safety) and Alford (Strong Safety), and use Max Williams as the nickel. This injury could shake up the rest of the chart, however, once fall camp goes around and Branch's injury shuffles things.

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Branch, the No. 6 Safety in the 2022 class and No. 58 overall player, will be a huge loss. If there's anyone who can coach this DB room out of it, though, it's the fine and proven DB's coach SC has in Donte Williams.