As a Recruit
Malachi Nelson was a known commodity for years growing up in Orange County. He was named to the 4V 7v7 Passing League Hall of Fame in 2019, a distinction given by local coaches for players’ efforts in youth passing leagues across the Los Angeles area. Nelson set the Los Alamitos school record for touchdown passes in a game with seven as a sophomore – the third most in Orange County history. Nelson is lifelong friends with high school teammate Makai Lemon. They first met when they were 7 years old playing in Pop Warner football in Los Alamitos. “I think he threw a deep pass to me and it was like perfect on the dot," Lemon told Spectrum Sports about Nelson. "I thought, 'This kid is kinda good.'” Nelson plans on majoring in pre-med in college. He lists his hobbies as school, music and foreign languages. His parents are Eric and Naomi Nelson.
Reminds Us Of
Mariota was not as highly-touted as Malachi Nelson coming out of high school, but we see similarities in the body type, physical skill set and play style. For starters, Nelson’s build at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds is not too far off from Mariota’s (6-foot-3.5, 185) at the same stage. Both are accurate passers who are adept at running up-tempo offenses and excel in playing quarterback with a point guard mentality. Mariota was more of a run threat, while Nelson is a bit more polished as a passer at the same stage.