Washington football is making waves in Nevada, having already pulled in three commitments for the class of 2022 from one of the state’s elite programs, Liberty High School. Between Germie Bernard, Anthony Jones, and Sir Mells, Jimmy Lake and his staff are trying to establish a pipeline into the state.
Currently, there are three players who attended high school in the state on the roster. Linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio (originally from Alaska) and wide receiver Rome Odunze both attended Bishop Gorman, the state’s other elite program, while offensive lineman Troy Fautanu is a Liberty alum. Now the question is, can Lake, along with defensive back coaches Terrence Brown and Will Harris, add another Gorman alumni to the roster?
Zion Branch is the top-rated safety on the West Coast in the 2022 recruiting cycle and a top 60 player overall. With offers from all over the country, the coaching staff is going to have to compete with some of the nation’s top recruiters to get him to Montlake. And they have a pretty strong case to make.
On tape, Branch has future first-rounder written all over him. He’s big, physical, and excels both in coverage and coming downhill. At close to 6’3, and a body that could easily retain its athleticism at around 210 pounds, it’s easy to see why he holds 36 offers from all over the country. Now, what can the Huskies offer Branch?
Along with proven development that currently has placed 10 defensive backs in the NFL, and soon to be 12 when Elijah Molden and Keith Taylor find a home during the 2021 draft. Of those 10 who were on rosters in 2020, seven were drafted in the top two rounds, and four have made the Pro Bowl.
Branch would fit in perfectly with the Husky defense, which can utilize him just like Budda Baker and Taylor Rapp. He would be able to develop all parts of his game, while continuing to add size and strength, which would make him a promising prospect for the NFL.
Lake and his staff have also extended an offer to Branch’s brother, Zachariah, a four-star receiver in the class of 2023, and are showing that they’ll do anything they can to make Washington feel like home.
It’s not going to be easy to pull in his services, but the coaching staff needs to pull out all the stops to secure a commitment from Branch. With the pro pedigree of Washington, the development that Lake can provide, and a roster loaded with talent, expect the Huskies to be in it until the end for the elite prospect.