In just a couple of hours, the Sooners are already feeling the effects of Lincoln Riley's departure for USC in recruiting. Five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson announced he's decommitting from Oklahoma and specifically cited Riley's absence as the reason.
"I want to start by thanking all the coaches and staff at OU for seeing enough in me and recruiting me to be a part of Sooner nation," Nelson said in the announcement on Twitter. "One of the things that attracted me most to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position.
"In light of recent events and changes, my family and I believe it's best if I de-commit from OU at this time."
Nelson, who is currently a junior at Los Alamitos High School in California, is just one of several high-rated California natives Riley recruited to Oklahoma. Other players include 2022 five-star running back Raleek Brown, 2023 five-star wide receiver Makai Lemon and 2023 four-star wideout DeAndre Moore.
Riley was officially announced as the new coach for USC and Nelson could just be the first California recruit to decommit. Not only that, but it could be possible that these players would consider staying in their home state to play for Riley as he attempts to give the Trojans new life.
Nelson has passed for 2,690 yards and 39 touchdowns in 11 games this season along with 192 yards on the ground.
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