Oklahoma wrapped up the weekend by securing the foundation of its 2023 recruiting class, as elite quarterback prospect Malachi Nelson committed to the Sooners on Sunday.
Nelson picked Oklahoma over a group of finalists consisting of Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC. The Trojans were thought to be Oklahoma’s main competition to land the Los Alamitos (Calif.) product.
Arch Manning garners the most national attention of any 2023 quarterback, but Nelson is a star in his own right and might even be a better passer than Manning. Nelson is just one spot behind Manning in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings as the No. 5 overall prospect in his signing class and the No. 2 quarterback. Nelson was also the lone sophomore to be a finalist for the 2021 Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year award.
“Nelson has all the physical tools you could want in a next-level signal-caller,” 247Sports’ Gregg Biggins said in his scouting report of Nelson. “At 6-3, 180 pounds, he has an athletic body with plenty of room to grow pack on good weight. He’s a very fluid athlete in everything he does. He has a smooth, effortless release and the ball jumps out of his hand.
“He has a downfield arm, is accurate to all three levels of the field and can throw with touch and change speeds. He’s a mature quarterback and already shows a high football IQ in terms of his decision-making and how well he processes the position. He’s a plus-athlete for a quarterback as well and shows the ability to extend plays and get out and pick up yards in the running game.”
Nelson is the highest-ranked 2023 recruit to commit to a school so far early in the cycle. He is also the second top-flight 2023 prospect to commit to Oklahoma this weekend, as top 50 Florida running back Treyaun Webb pledged to the Sooners on Saturday.