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Smart, Athletic Safety Braxton Myers Huge Addition for Trojans

Braxton Myers

Braxton Myers

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Braxton Myers – 2023 Safety – USC Commit

The Basics

Braxton Myers is a 6'1", 185-pound safety from Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. The 247Sports composite rankings have him as the 108th overall player in the nation, the sixth overall safety nationally, and the 20th ranked player in Texas in the class of 2023. Additionally, in the 247Sports Composite, he is graded at around a 95/100, good for a mid-to-high four stars.

As a near top 100 recruit nationally, it is not surprising that many schools were interested in Myers’s services. Per 247Sports, he had offers from: USC, Clemson, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Cal, Cincinnati, Colorado, FIU, Florida A&M, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Texas, Tulsa, UNLV, Utah State, UTSA, and Washington.

USC was considered the frontrunner in this recruitment, and few were surprised when Myers announced his commitment to Head Coach Lincoln Riley and the Trojans. Despite the lack of a surprise factor, this commitment was still a huge boon for the Trojans. Myers will likely be one of the top prep recruits taken by USC on the defensive side of the ball in the 2023 recruiting class.

Roster Outlook

According to OurLads.com, the projected safety depth chart for the 2022 season includes:
Free Safeties: Calen Bullock (So.), Zion Branch (Fr.), Anthony Beavers Jr. (Rs Fr.)
Strong Safeties: Xavion Alford (Rs So. Tr.), Bryson Shaw (Rs Jr. Tr.), Xamarion Gordon (Rs Fr.)

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Myers is joining fellow safety, Christian Pierce in the 2023 recruiting class.

How he fits and opportunities for playing time

Watching his highlight reels and game film, it is easy to see where he will fit with the USC defense. Braxton Myers is ranked 108th overall for a reason, he displays all the tools needed to succeed at the collegiate level.

One thing that stands out is his ability to accurately read opposing offenses before the snap and adjust accordingly. Depending on the circumstances, he knows when to press opposing defenders, to focus on run-stopping, and when to just drop back in coverage. His coaches clearly trust him to make the right decision, as he routinely makes reads and adjusts without coaches’ instruction. On film, he also can clearly be seen communicating with his teammates before, during, and after plays, assuming a significant leadership role on his team.

Adding players with strong leadership traits will be essential for head coach Lincoln Riley in order to build an effective, player-led defense that can thrive at the Power Five level.

Diving into more of his game, Myers displays the potential to be truly elite in pass coverage. Along with his acumen for reading opposing offenses, he displays the speed and athleticism to make big plays. On film, he showed that he possesses the ability to intercept and break up passes regardless of the space left open in coverage. Once the play begins, he typically locks in on his man or assigned zone in coverage. This can be useful as it helps him prevent being beat by his man, though QB awareness can become an issue with this style of play. He does have quick reaction time and doesn’t waste time when making decisions on the fly. This allows him to partially make up for any QB awareness issues on pass play.

When focusing on stopping the run, there are zero issues with pocket awareness. One thing that Myers does especially well is shutting down screen passes and easy checkdowns, especially along the outer edges of the offensive line. While he isn’t a crazy hard hitter, the technique used to bring down other players is perfect.

I expect Braxton Myers to be seeing significant playing time by his sophomore year at the latest. Barring unforeseen circumstances involving injuries or the transfer portal, I think it will be very hard for the USC coaching staff to keep him off the field for more than a year. Given his strengths in coverage, I feel his best fit is at free safety, though he has all the tools necessary to fill in at the strong safety and cornerback positions if needed.

Overall, this is a huge pick-up by Head Coach Lincoln Riley and the USC Trojans recruiting staff. Myers shows serious NFL potential and will likely be a multi-year starter in college. With a team that has offense figured out already, Myers will be an essential piece for a coach trying to build up a defense that is complimentary of the offense and good enough as a whole to compete for a national title.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]