USC Trojans News: Why Malachi Nelson is special, JuJu Smith-Schuster resurgence, more

JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC Football, USC Trojans
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC Football, USC Trojans / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star QB Malachi Nelson was signed by USC Football on Wednesday, and was the fourth No. 1 recruit in the country that SC has been able to sign in the high school rankings era. Charles Power of On3 wrote a 2023 Quarterback Superlative article on Wednesday, and had Nelson as the "Most Polished" QB in the 2023 recruiting class.

"He’s been well-trained from a technical standpoint and it shows on the field and in neutral settings," said Power of Nelson. "Nelson is a smooth, rhythm passer who can deliver well-thrown passes to all levels from the pocket."

It makes sense, as the consensus five-star recruit and No. 2 QB in America (247Sports) is most certainly known for his arm talent and abilities as a passer. He even has some mobility as well and can evade pressure in the pocket. Nelson is the No. 1 player in California (247Sports), and has now committed to Lincoln Riley twice (once at Oklahoma and now at USC). He clearly likes his fit in this system.

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Legendary USC Football Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is back to producing like an elite wide receiver in the National Football League. He hadn't had 1,000 or more yards after the 2018 season due to his QB play being legitimately terrible. Sure enough, all Smith-Schuster needed was a quarterback who can throw the ball to him for him to return to dominant status. He now has that with Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Smith-Schuster just had 10 catches for 88 receiving yards this past week. He's now up to 71 catches for 850 receiving yards on the season--meaning that he's on pace for over 1,000 yards this year. Smith-Schuster has now had back-to-back weeks with nine or more catches and 74 more receiving yards.


Oregon flipped countless recruits when Early Signing Period began on Wednesday, and jumped up to the No. 7 recruiting class in the country. SC entered the day with the No. 1 class in the conference, but Oregon catapulted up past them. SC dropped from No. 12 to No. 15 on Wednesday. SC's overall class, however, is better at No. 11.

The issue, however, is that Oregon's overall class is No. 8 in the country. That's okay if SC's overall class is in the Top 10, as SC has a much better coach and much better current team.

Next. Ranking USC Football's Heisman Trophy winning seasons. dark

Since the Trojans are now not in the Top 10 (as of Wednesday when they dropped out), they're going to hope they can snag some of the remaining high school recruits by February, or acquire more strong transfers up through the spring (SC already has multiple four-star transfer portal pickups).