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5-Star QB Malachi Nelson Commits to USC After Decommitting from Oklahoma

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2021

MISSION VIEJO, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Malachi Nelson (7), of Los Alamitos, during a game against Santa Margarita in the first half at Saddleback College Stadium on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Mission Viejo, CA. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two days after 5-star quarterback Malachi Nelson decommitted from Oklahoma, he announced publicly that he would be following head coach Lincoln Riley to USC. 

✨Malachi Nelson✨ @MalachiNelson9

Yeah, This feels right ✌🏾 <a href="https://t.co/HyVe11X4mf">pic.twitter.com/HyVe11X4mf</a>

✨Malachi Nelson✨ @MalachiNelson9

Gods Plan… <a href="https://t.co/KyYllmP0f7">pic.twitter.com/KyYllmP0f7</a>

Nelson is considered the No. 2 player in the class of 2023, the No. 2 quarterback prospect and the top player from the state of California, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Nelson's decision doesn't come as a huge surprise, considering he plays for Orange County's Los Alamitos High School, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles. Riley's departure from the Sooners to the Trojans surely made staying close to home all the easier. 

It followed something of a purge for Oklahoma, as 2022 4-star linebacker Kobie McKinzie and 2023 5-star wideout Brandon Inniss and 4-star running back Treyaun Webb also decommitted from the Sooners following the Riley news. 

Treyaun Webb @w_treyaun

God Got Me… <a href="https://t.co/8HpnScDuct">pic.twitter.com/8HpnScDuct</a>

And 2022 5-star running back Raleek Brown, currently an Oklahoma commit, might be the next high-profile recruit to leave Norman behind.

"That changes everything," he told ESPN this week regarding Riley's move. "I had a good relationship with all [the Oklahoma coaches], so that will really change everything."

As for Nelson, his switch in allegiances is huge for USC. Greg Biggins of 247Sports wrote in his scouting report that Nelson "has all the physical tools you could want in a next level signal-caller."

He also wrote Nelson has "an athletic body with plenty of room to grow" and is "a very fluid athlete in everything he does," adding that "no quarterback in the class has a higher ceiling right now than Nelson."

The 6'3" and 180-pound Nelson threw for 2,690 yards, 39 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior in 2021. USC and Riley have pulled off a coup flipping his commitment.