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Sources: USC star Branch game-time call vs. ND

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Sources: USC star Branch game-time call vs. ND

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USC star receiver and kick returner Zachariah Branch is considered a game-time decision against Notre Dame on Saturday, sources told ESPN.

Branch, a true freshman, hasn’t played the last two games and has not been a full participant in practice this week, due to an undisclosed injury.

USC coach Lincoln Riley framed Branch’s return this week as unlikely, as he indicated this week that Branch has been “making progress” toward returning, but would need to “make some jumps” in order to return.

Sources indicated that Branch has made the trip with the team to Notre Dame for the game and no official decision will be made until after pre-game warm-ups.

Branch did not dress for warm-ups the last two weeks, and any potential return would be on a day where the forecast calls for rainy conditions.

Branch quickly established himself as one of the most dynamic players in college football this season, as he scored two receiving touchdowns and two special teams touchdowns in USC’s first four games.

Branch caught 13 balls for 178 yards in four games and is averaging 22.5 yards per punt return and 28.5 yards per kickoff return.

Branch has lived up to his decorated billing, as he entered the season as the country’s top wide receiver recruit and a Top 10 overall recruiting in the ESPN recruiting rankings.

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