NCAA Football

USC Football: Malachi Nelson to Transfer

Photo Via 24/7 Sports

The USC Trojans will lose former five-star recruit in Quarterback Malachi Nelson as he’s entered the Transfer Portal. Nelson was the thirteenth overall recruit in 247 sports rankings of the 2022 recruiting class and the fifth ranked quarterback in the QB heavy class. The transfer will open the door for Redshirt Junior Miller Moss or Jake Jensen to start in 2024 while Lincoln Riley landed Kansas State transfer Will Howard from the transfer portal for the competition.

The nightmare year continues for Lincoln Riley following a forgettable second season at USC. The Trojans finished the year 7-5 which landed them sixth in the PAC-12 despite returning the Heisman winner in Caleb Williams. This will make competing in the tougher Big Ten conference more difficult as Miller Moss, Will Howard, or Jake Jensen will be responsible for scoring on tougher defenses than they faced in the Pac-12.

In addition to replacing Caleb Williams a major focus for Lincoln Riley will be finally building a defense that will allow the team to compete at a sustainable level. The Trojans allowed 34.91 points per game this season leading to the firing of long time Lincoln Riley defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. The Trojans have started rebuilding their defense through the transfer portal landing three transfers in Linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, Defensive End Nate Clifton, and Safety Akili Arnold.

USC Football: Building a defense before Big-10 Move

Heading into the Big Ten the Trojans need to find a way to build a reliable defense before heading into the Big Ten. The Trojans were one of the worst defenses in College Football this year which kept them from competing despite an explosive offense. The Trojans will need to build in the trenches a process they started last season in landing Georgia transfer DT Bear Alexander.

The Portal hasn’t been favorable for the Trojans as they’ve lost thirteen players to the transfer portal with names like Malachi Nelson, Raleek Brown, Mario Williams, and Michael Jackson III being among the biggest to transfer. Through traditional recruiting USC Football has the 17th ranked recruiting class good enough for third in the Big Ten. Defenders like Marcelles Williams, Kameryn Fountain, and Elijah Newby will look to make an impact from day one for the USC Football team as they’re talented enough to start as true freshman.

Note: Recruit Rankings via 247 sports