Sep 18, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; USC Trojans helmets sit during a game against the Washington State Cougars in the first half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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5-star QB Malachi Nelson follows Lincoln Riley to USC

Five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson, committed to the University of Oklahoma since July, will follow former Sooners coach Lincoln Riley to the University of Southern California.

Nelson, from Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School, switched his verbal commitment less than 24 hours after Riley was announced as USC’s new coach. Nelson made his decision known by tweeting a graphic of himself in a Trojan uniform and the words, “Yeah, this feels right.”

Ranked by 247 Sports Composite Rankings as the No. 2 quarterback in the class of 2023, Nelson is one of seven commits who have indicated they will leave Oklahoma. Nelson, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound dual-threat passer, is the first of those players to pledge to USC.

Riley may yet lure other Oklahoma commits to USC. Makai Lemon and DeAndre Moore Jr., both wide receivers and Los Alamitos High teammates of Nelson, pledged to Oklahoma. Lemon decommitted when Riley made his move to USC but has not announced his plans.

A high school player’s verbal commitment to a school is non-binding, so Nelson can change his mind by December 2022. However, the quarterback’s speedy decision to follow Riley to USC and his ties to California indicate he probably will sign with the Trojans next year.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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