Malachi Nelson will have a lot to prove when he eventually takes the field for USC

If new USC quarterback recruit Malachi Nelson is looking for motivation, he just found another source of it a few days ago.

New Oklahoma quarterback recruit Jackson Arnold won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award Thursday over Nelson and Arch Manning, both co-finalists.

Nelson didn’t win, but his season was very successful with Los Alamitos (Calif.), completing 67% of his passes for 2,898 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also ran for 153 yards and two more touchdowns.

Jackson Arnold’s Gatorade National Player of the Year victory comes just a week after he won the award as the top player in the state of Texas.

Arnold, of Denton (Texas) Guyer, was presented the trophy Thursday by former Dallas Cowboys star Jason Witten.

Arnold went 28-3 in two seasons as a starter for Guyer, throwing for more than 7,000 yards and 67 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,580 yards and 36 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

As a senior, he threw for 3,476 yards and 33 touchdowns with three interceptions and rushed for 921 yards and 24 touchdowns.

The award also honors Arnold for his work off the field, which includes graduating with a weighted 4.5 grade-point average as well as serving as vice president of the Texas Young Men’s Service League.

“This 2023 class is the ‘year of the quarterback,’ and there are likely five signal-callers rated among the top 15 prospects in the country,” said Greg Biggins, national recruiting analyst for 247 Sports.

You know that Malachi Nelson will recall this moment, tuck it in the back of his mind, and unleash his best stuff when he gets his chance to shine at USC.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire