Well that didn’t take long. Just two days after he took the USC job, Lincoln Riley has scored a massive recruiting win for the Trojans. On Tuesday afternoon, five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson announced his commitment to USC.
The 6-foot-3 Nelson is the No. 2 quarterback prospect and No. 2 overall player in the 2023 recruiting class, sitting only behind Arch Manning. He had been committed to Oklahoma but backed off that pledge on Sunday when news of Riley’s departure became public.
This is a huge example of the sea-change Riley will bring to the Trojans. Nelson plays at Los Alamitos High School, which is about 25 miles from USC’s campus. He’s the kind of player the program has been losing to out-of-state powers for years because of weak coaching.
Several other prospects are expected to follow Nelson’s lead. Teammate Makai Lemon – a fellow former Oklahoma commit – is expected to join Nelson at USC. He’s a fellow five-star who also had interest in USC but opted to commit to Oklahoma because of Riley.
Current Oklahoma commit Raleek Brown is expected to decommit and commit to USC shortly. A five-star running back in the 2022 class out of traditional USC pipeline Mater Dei, Brown is a multidimensional threat who fits Riley’s offense perfectly.
Those three are likely to be the start, but more will be coming as Riley begins to flex his recruiting muscle with the backing of USC’s prestige in Southern California.