USC Freshman Wide Receiver Zachariah Branch Draws Reggie Bush Comparisons

Zachariah Branch

Getty Image / Katelyn Mulcahy

Former USC running back Reggie Bush was as thrilling a college football player as we’ve had in the 2000s. And, after a sensational debut by USC freshman wide receiver Zachariah Branch, he’s drawing comparisons to the legend himself.

For a quick refresher, Bush was part of a two-headed monster with LenDale White at tailback for USC with their 2004 national championship team and 2005 national runners-up, and won the Heisman Trophy (vacated due to NCAA rule violations for things that are now legal) in 2005.

Bush was a good-enough pure running back, but his real strength was his versatility. His 1740 rushing yards in 2005 was augmented by 478 yards receiving and nearly 700 yards in the return game. You held your breath every time he touched the ball, knowing he could score out of nowhere.

And, on Saturday in USC’s season-opening 56-28 win over San Jose State, five-star freshman Zachariah Branch looked very similar to Reggie Bush.

The stat-line won’t blow you out of the water, but for a true freshman in an offense loaded with skill players, it was pretty exceptional.

Zachariah Branch had four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown, one carry for 12 yards, a 96-yard kick return touchdown, and 66 yards on three punt returns. He was electrifying.

Branch ran a 10.3 in the 100 meter dash in high school, and you can see why. But, not only does he have straight-line speed, he’s obviously incredibly agile as well. Sound familiar?

With Caleb Williams throwing him passes, Zachariah Branch is only going to continue to impress. He will be back in action next Saturday against Nevada.