5-star USC QB commit Malachi Nelson signs NIL deal with The h.wood Group

On3 imageby:Andy Wittry06/21/22


Five-Star Plus+ USC quarterback commit Malachi Nelson, ranked No. 3 nationally in the On3 Consensus, has capitalized on the ability for California high schoolers to monetize their Name, Image and Likeness. Nelson, who attends Los Alamitos High School, told ESPN he has signed a NIL deal with The h.wood Group, a hospitality and lifestyle company based in Los Angeles.

ESPN reported Nelson is “expected to agree to nearly a million dollars in endorsement deals by the time he enrolls.”

Nelson committed to USC in late November, just days after USC hired Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who followed Riley to the Trojans through the Transfer Portal, is entering his sophomore season, which means Nelson likely projects to be Williams’ successor in 2024.

CIF bylaws are ‘not intended to restrict the right of… a commercial endorsement’

California is the first state that allowed high school athletes to profit off of their NIL.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) bylaws regarding amateur status have long allowed athletes to monetize their NIL, provided they don’t wear their school’s uniform or insignia while appearing in any promotional activity. The CIF bylaws, last revised in 2009, are “not intended to restrict the right of any student to participate in a commercial endorsement provided there is no school team or school affiliation.”

CIF spokesperson Rebecca Brutlag previously told Quartz these bylaws were created to allow the many athletes in the state who are involved in the film or commercial acting to maintain their eligibility.

California is among the states that produce the greatest number of elite high school prospects, particularly in high-profile sports such as football and basketball.

Malachi Nelson’s On3 NIL Valuation

Malachi Nelson’s On3 NIL Valuation is $736,000, as of June 21, which ranks No. 24 on the On3 NIL 100.

The On3 NIL Valuation is an index that looks to set the standard market value for both high school and college-level athletes. The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete’s value at a certain moment in time.

The On3 NIL 100 is the first of its kind and the defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by market valuation.