Report: Five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson to sign with Lebron’s agency Klutch Sports
Five-Star Plus+ quarterback Malachi Nelson is unlike any other recruit in the country. So, it’s no surprise to see him break the mold again by becoming the first high school football player to sign with Klutch Sports Group, which was founded in 2012 by agent Rich Paul and NBA superstar LeBron James.
According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the No. 2 quarterback in the Class of 2023 from Los Alamitos (Calif.) High, is signing Klutch Sports.
Nelson turned heads when he signed a NIL deal in June with The h.wood Group. The company is a global hospitality firm with more than 30 restaurants and clubs worldwide that are frequented by A-list celebrities like Drake, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elon Musk, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and the Kardashians.
Nelson is able to take advantage of the fact California is one of 13 states that allow high school student-athletes to do NIL deals without losing eligibility. In fact, California was the first state to allow high school athletes to agree to commercial endorsements in the country.
Now he’s turning heads again by joining forces with Klutch Sports. Nelson previously had Level Sports Group representing him, primarily by Justin J. Giangrande. Level helped him sign the deal with The h.wood Group.
“You want to put yourself in the right position to not look like you’re just doing it for the money,” Nelson said in July. “Last year there were some college guys that had a bad game and then they had to wake up the next morning and post this endorsement deal. It doesn’t look very good. So, my team has put me in a good position to avoid that from happening.”
The USC commit has been one of the main faces of NIL at the high school level. With his move to Klutch, he becomes the first high school athlete to sign with the agency. With a clientele primarily focused in the NBA, the agency has signed big names such as Jeff Okudah and DeVonta Smith in recent years.
Nelson has been a longtime USC commitment. In fact, he’s the face of the 2023 USC class. Yet, Nelson turned heads when he took an official visit to Texas A&M in late July. WeAreSC’s Scott Schrader reports the Trojans still feel confident about him sticking to his original commitment.
Malachi Nelson’s soaring On3 NIL Valuation
As one of the top-ranked recruits in the 2023 cycle, Malachi Nelson will have plenty of NIL opportunities in his college career. But add in the USC commitment and an aggressive first step in the NIL space, and the five-star recruit is already positioning his brand for years to come.
The five-star plus+ quarterback currently holds an On3 NIL evaluation of $738k, which ranks 39th in the On3 NIL 100. He also has the third-highest valuation in the NIL high school football rankings, sitting behind only Arch Manning and Nico Iamaleava.
Nelson has built a strong social media following early in his career, too. With 92,000 followers across TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, he has a per post value of $3,300.
The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: Performance, Influence and Exposure.
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.