Latest on USC QB Malachi Nelson's transfer portal recruitment

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos12/19/23

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Former five-star recruit and USC true freshman quarterback Malachi Nelson officially entered the transfer portal on Monday night, roughly 24 hours after On3 reported the Trojans were expecting to see him enter college football’s free agency.

The Los Alamitos product is now starting to evaluate his options. His father, Eric Nelson, and management team are helping run point on the operation. As for a timetable, a source tells On3 that no decision will be made before taking visits. The next 15 days will be to vet options and make plans for official visits once the quiet period reopens on Jan. 3.

Nelson is prioritizing the best scheme and fit in a program. According to a source, he also wants to find a place where he can be successful and help recruit top prospects. The No. 5 quarterback in the 2023 class, he was the 11th-ranked player in the nation and initially committed to Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma.

Early schools in communication with Malachi Nelson

While no distinct watch list has been set, the source confirmed Nelson and his camp have had early conversations with Tulane, TCU, South Carolina, Houston and Cal.

All five schools are potentially in the market for a transfer quarterback. South Carolina missed out on AJ Swann, yet the Gamecocks are very high on true freshman LaNorris Sellers. Tulane has a new head coach Jon Sumrall, plus the Green Wave are expected to lose Michael Pratt to the NFL draft.

Houston is set to return starting quarterback Donovan Smith, but new head coach Willie Fritz could decide to go in a different direction. Cal started freshman Fernando Mendoza played in nine game this past season, but adding Nelson could add a different layer to the offense with the move to the ACC.

TCU quarterback Chandler Morris entered the transfer portal on Monday afternoon, opening a spot in the quarterback room. The Horned Frogs are high on redshirt freshman Josh Hoover, who threw for 2,206 yards in 10 games this year.

Malachi Nelson played in just one game this past season, completing a pass in a 56-28 win over San José State. He’s currently ranked as the No. 44 overall player in the portal, according to the On3 Industry Rankings.