Malachi Nelson honored his parents and finished his college recruiting process early with one anticipated announcement on Sunday, July 18.
Versatility and efficiency, after all, are among the many strengths for the Los Alamitos High junior quarterback.
Nelson committed to Oklahoma during a special announcement streamed by CBS Sports HQ and 247Sports. He shared the decision on the same day as the wedding anniversary of his parents Eric and Naomi.
“Just worked out perfect,” he said earlier of honoring his parents. “This is the big one.”
Nelson thanked his parents, coaches, teachers and teammates before committing to the Sooners and Coach Lincoln Riley, and displaying an Oklahoma hat and t-shirt.
“I very excited to announce my commitment to one school that I felt comfortable with the staff,” he said during the broadcast. “With that being said, I would like to announce my commitment to the University of Oklahoma.”
Nelson (6-3, 180) narrowed his choices to Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, USC, Notre Dame and Florida State but the Sooners were considered the favorite.
His last unofficial trip was to Oklahoma.
“It was cool,” Nelson of the visit. “Loved everything about it.”
Nelson said he committed before his junior season so he could help recruit other players to join him at Oklahoma. His junior wide receiver, Makai Nelson, will certainly be one of his targets.
Highly-recruited athlete Treyaun Webb of Florida committed on Saturday.
“I want to be early,” Nelson said of committing as a junior. “I’m excited to go.”
Nelson delivered a breakout sophomore season. He completed 74 percent of his passes for 1,513 yards and 23 touchdowns while leading the Griffins to a 6-0 record and the Sunset League title during the spring campaign shortened by the pandemic.
He was named California Gatorade Player of the Year and has continued to impress over the summer. He led the Griffins to the title at the South County passing tournament on July 10 at Mission Viejo.
Nelson has strong ties to Orange County sports. His cousin, Endigo Parker, played basketball at Troy and is headed to the University of Pacific. His cousin Orande Crenshaw is a former football standout at Costa Mesa.
Nelson ranks as the No. 2 quarterback nationally behind Arch Manning from Louisiana, according to 247Sports. Arch is the son of Cooper Manning, the brother of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli.