Rivals.com - Malachi Nelson says USC 'is the best place to be in the nation'
{{ timeAgo('2022-06-15 10:34:55 -0500') }} football Edit

Malachi Nelson says USC 'is the best place to be in the nation'

Malachi Nelson
Malachi Nelson (Jeff McCulloch/Rivals.com)

LAS VEGAS — Los Alamitos (Calif.) five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson has been in the spotlight since he was in the eighth grade, as he has helped headline one of the deeper quarterback classes in recent memory in the 2023 cycle.

Now, his work and talent is coming to fruition with him approaching his senior season and his early enrollment to USC, but in the meantime it is just about getting everything right to be prepared to carry his talent over to the college level.

"I've just been working, trying to get healthy with physical therapy and all of that," Nelson said. "Trying to get my body right because I feel like at this point, everybody can throw, everybody has an arm. It really comes down to reading defenses, being in the film room, in the weight room and getting stronger."

The deep quarterback class starts up top with Nelson and Arch Manning and stretches around to guys like Nico Iamaleava, Dante Moore, Jaden Rashada and more, but Nelson will always see himself as the best in the country.

"I just feel like in my head, I'm number-one," he said. "No matter what the rankings say, I feel like the things I do against big teams, none of the other quarterbacks were playing against the competition that I was last year. Putting up numbers, I feel like that's what separates me in those moments under the lights. We played St. John Bosco last year and put up 40 points on them, no one else is playing competition like that."

The rankings are far from Nelson's biggest concern, as the five-star has been focused recently on helping Lincoln Riley and the USC staff build their 2023 class into one that can compete for national championships.

"At this point, it's just recruiting, I'm a part of the staff now," Nelson said. "There are a couple of guys out here obviously like Brandon Inniss, and the defensive coaches are giving me guys too. We're trying to fill in every part of the team, we have a lot of guys on our radar that we're trying to get after. Just trying to build a complete team."

And what is that message that Nelson gives to recruits?

"They're gonna see this year, it's the best place to be in the nation," he said. "It's the biggest network in the nation in terms of NIL which is big nowadays. It doesn't get any bigger, it's LA and New York. You're in LA, you have anything you need and now we have good football, good development and that goes a long ways."

His plan will be to come in and continue to learn alongside Caleb Williams, who is someone he has known for a long time going back to the Oklahoma days.

"That first year I'm just gonna learn with Caleb, someone I've grown up with and got to know really well," he said. "Learn the offense and get the plays down for that next year which should be my year. We chop it up about everything even going back to Oklahoma. We have a great relationship."

Nelson has big goals and expectations for his time at USC, as he sees himself along with this 2023 class and the new coaching staff bringing national championships and more hardware back to Los Angeles.

"All of that, everything you can think of," he said. "National Championships, the Heisman will come, it's not the goal but it will come. Being a contender every year is the biggest thing for sure."