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USC Trojans Football: 3 Second-Year Players Poised for Stardom in 2023

USC Trojans Football: 3 Second-Year Players Poised for Stardom in 2023

USC Trojans Football: 3 Second-Year Players Poised for Stardom in 2023

Lincoln Riley's first season in charge of USC football can be viewed as a success because he transformed a team that finished just 4-8 in 2021 into a playoff contender in 2022.


Of course, a large part of that success could be due to the addition of Caleb Williams, who transferred from Oklahoma to the west coast after following his head coach there. The 2022 recruiting class, Riley's first with the Trojans, contains some essential players for a potential playoff run. USC will enter the 2023 season with extremely high expectations.


The 2022 class for the Trojans was loaded with talent. These are several second-year players who could break out in 2023.

#3. Zion Branch, Safety

Zion Branch, the Trojans' second-best defensive back prospect in the class, expected to play a significant amount in his first season, but that wasn't the case. Branch did not register any stats while redshirting for the Trojans, and the defense is now aiming to improve upon the appalling 264 passing yards it surrenders per contest.


One of the significant improvements in the defensive backfield will be Branch. To save his position this following season, Alex Grinch will need to make use of a man like Branch. The 2022 class's sixth-best safety and current No. 58 overall prospect appears to be the starter at safety for the upcoming season, and with him on the field, the Trojans should be considerably better against the pass.

#2. Raleek Brown, Running Back

Raleek Brown may seem like an odd choice given that USC is bringing Austin Jones back and MarShawn Lloyd is transferring in from South Carolina, but there weren't many other options available given USC's small class of 11 signees.


Regardless matter who is on the roster for the upcoming season, Brown will receive carries since he is a very good running back. The former top-50 talent has a total of 227 yards and three touchdowns on 5.4 yards per rush for his rookie season. He appeared to be one of the team's top rushers, and he has the makings of a star in the backfield.


One of the top teams in college football will include a triumvirate of Jones, Lloyd, and Brown.

#1. Domani Jackson, Cornerback

Domani Jackson, a highly anticipated freshman at USC, didn't get to play as much as he presumably would have liked.


In fact, the former five-star cornerback had some stats to his name, as he concluded the year with two tackles and a pass breakup. He will now enter his second season with the program as a potential starting contender, but at the absolute least he will be in the two-deep.


Jackson was the second-best cornerback prospect in the country and the greatest prospect from the talent-rich state of California. He was one of the best recruits in the entire 2022 class, coming in at No. 5 overall. He was essentially the recruit that USC needed to sign for the 2022 class, and the Trojans succeeded in doing so.


Next year, Domani Jackson will be a star and possibly an All-Pac-12 defensive back.

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