[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Mind of Mike is a crazy place - here’s what I’m thinking on Malachi Nelson based on sources.
— At first I thought this was a trip with an agenda to keep the USC class together. Rumors of WR Zachariah Branch and WR Makai Lemon (HS teammate) visiting made me think this at first. But then I doubted that pretty quickly. Jimbo Fisher isn’t dumb. He’s not going to let an elite QB on campus so he can recruit kids back to USC or perhaps even get in the ear of uncommitted players. Then I thought it might be a trip for fun with his buddies but is a trip to College Station fun? I mean, it could be, but there are better places to have fun — Hawaii, the Bahamas, etc. No, this was a business trip, and I confirmed that with many sources. And then I was told he took this trip solo, and that changes a lot.
— Yes I’ve been told neither Branch nor Lemon visited Texas A&M and that Nelson took a solo trip with the people close to him. But why? NIL right? Nope. This is what people don’t understand. Nelson is a 5-star quarterback in the LA area. He’s already worth more than a million bucks. And much more is to come. And none of it is tied to USC or Texas A&M. This kid can fly to College Station on a private plane if he wants. He will make his money wherever he goes. NIL is always a factor in recruiting these days, but good sources tell me he wants to win. And that No. 1 recruiting class last year turned his head long ago, and he wanted to take a look for himself.
— Nelson followed Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC as a commitment and has said many times how much he likes the system Riley runs and his ability to develop quarterbacks. So why would he head off to A&M, where QB has been a problem? Let’s keep in mind that Jimbo Fisher has developed numerous first-round QBs, and the only issue holding the Aggies back is the QB play. They’ve put together a potential national title roster, and Nelson is intrigued by that and the chance to impact right away. That doesn’t mean he isn’t enamored with his opportunity at USC because he is, but he’s intrigued by Fischer and the SEC.
— The visit itself went very well, and Nelson struggled with actually pulling the trigger on taking it. He’s a loyal kid, those around him say, and of high character. So to tell Riley and his staff he’s taking the visit was hard. But he did it because he only gets one chance at high school recruiting, and this was an opportunity he didn’t want to regret missing. And the visit went very well as I said. How well? USC still has his commitment, and I’m not sure that will change, but they have continued work to do to keep him in the fold. And now, as with any elite player who takes one visit, he’s wondering what else he’s missing. Other visits could happen, although I don’t have schools yet.
— So what’s the takeaway? I originally heard this visit wouldn’t be a threat to USC in the end, but now I’ve been told that’s wrong. Nelson remains committed to USC, and my money would be on the Trojans to keep him. But this visit meant a lot more than I thought it did.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]