Does Texas A&M Football still have a shot at landing Malachi Nelson?

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /
Texas A&M Football
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football fans have found themselves locked into a roller coaster of a recruitment, and it made another big loop on Friday. This recruitment, of course, is that of No. 2 overall quarterback recruit Malachi Nelson.

Nelson is a 6’3, 182-pound high school senior who is widely regarded as the second-best quarterback in the country, behind Texas Longhorn commit Arch Manning. He is currently committed to Lincoln Riley and the USC Trojans; however, he has been connected to the Aggies as a potential flip for over a month now.

The five-star prospect has been committed to Lincoln Riley since July 2021, when he was coaching Oklahoma. After Riley left for USC, Nelson followed with his commitment. A big bump in the road of his recruitment happened when he decided to attend the July pool party in College Station. This started rumors of the quarterback having an interest in joining Jimbo Fisher instead.

There have been small things that Nelson has done to suggest he is interested in playing elsewhere, including posting pictures of himself in a Texas A&M uniform on social media from his visit, which are still on his page despite his commitment.

The same goes for five-star wide receiver recruit Zachariah Branch, who is also committed to the Trojans but has pictures from a visit to College Station on his social media as well. Since these events, things have been fairly quiet on their recruiting fronts, however, that has changed recently.

Nelson seemingly has tried to quiet rumors of him possibly decommitting by wearing a USC headband in his first game of the season. He also has signed with Klutch Sports, a big-time sports agency based in California. Then, on Friday, Nelson tweeted, “stay tuned..”, and the entirety of college recruiting Twitter went nuts, especially A&M fans.

Around the same time as that tweet, Hayes Fawcett, who creates edits for recruits to post on social media for their major announcements, tweeted out, “Things just got interesting…”. After that, the speculation of Nelson’s potential decommitment REALLY took off.

As time went by on Friday, it became clearer that an unexpected commitment to USC was in the works. The news ended up being that four-star wide receiver Ja’Kobi Lane committed to USC over Oregon, who was the assumed favorite. Lane was also a target for the Aggies before his commitment.

So, now what? Does Fisher still have a chance to land Nelson, and maybe even Branch, too? Let’s be clear, it was never likely to happen to begin with. Nelson has followed and been committed to Riley for over a year now, so it was going to be a steep uphill battle to win his services.

To make it short, yes, there is still a chance. However, the longer he stays committed to USC, the less likely it becomes. However, if Nelson does decide to decommit, he would most likely flip to A&M immediately rather than opening up his recruitment again. As far as Branch, I expect him to follow Nelson wherever he decides to play.

Right now, if I had to give a prediction, I expect Nelson to stay committed to the Trojans. I would say there’s still a chance for the Aggies to flip the elite QB, but hope fades after every passing day, the closer we get to National Signing Day.