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2023 Ohio State Wide Receiver Target Zachariah Branch Commits To USC

One of the most explosive wide receivers in the country will follow in his brother's footsteps.

Las Vegas Bishop Gorman five-star wide receiver Zachariah Branch committed to USC on Friday afternoon over finalists Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

The 5-foot-9 and 172-pound Branch is considered the second-best wide receiver and No. 14 prospect overall in the class of 2023, as he caught 47 passes for 1,076 yards and 14 touchdowns to lead the Gaels to the state championship this fall.

Branch tagged along with his older brother, 2022 Trojans four-star safety signee Zion Branch, for his official visit with the Buckeyes in early June and landed an offer from wide receivers coach Brian Hartline a few days later.

Ohio State was actually considered the favorite in their respective recruitments, also welcoming the Branch brothers back to campus for an unofficial visit for the win over Penn State in late October. Things changed rapidly once USC hired former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley in late November, though.

Hartline and secondary coach Matt Barnes made an in-home visit with Zion in early December, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from signing with the Trojans on Dec. 15, the first day of the Early Signing Period.

It also meant very little for Zachariah, who always seemed destined to follow in his brother’s footsteps, whether it was to Columbus or Los Angeles.

That said, Ohio State finds itself in a great spot early in the process with several other wide receivers, including Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage five-star Brandon Inniss; Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star Carnell Tate; DeSoto, Texas, four-star Johntay Cook II; and Del Valle, Texas, four-star Braylon James.

It’s unclear how many players the staff will take next cycle after adding four top-150 players at the position in 2022, but that will certainly come into view as the year goes on.


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