The most talked about recruit in the 2023 college football class is no longer at the top of the list.
There is a new number one in ESPN’s 2023 class rankings, and while it’s a quarterback, it’s not the one many would think.
Malachi Nelson, a pro-style quarterback out of Los Alamitos High School in California, is now the top recruit in the ESPN 300 rankings, surpassing Arch Manning for top billing. Nelson is a University of Southern California (USC) commit.
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Manning has been one of the more hyped quarterback recruits in recent memory, with the Isidore Newman, Louisiana, product sporting the Manning name as well as all the tools to be successful at the next level. Manning announced his commitment to the University of Texas in June, spurning national powers Georgia and Alabama.
Arch Manning is the son of Cooper Manning, brother to NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning. His grandfather, Archie Manning, was a star quarterback for Ole Miss from 1968-1970 before playing 13 years in the NFL.
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According to ESPN, the reason for the change in rankings is due to Nelson’s sample size as well as the strength of his competition.
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“He has also developed physically, which has led to more arm velocity,” ESPN’s Monday report reads. “In our multiple in-person evaluations this spring and summer, our biggest observation from Nelson has been the growth beyond physical maturity as we see a more seasoned leader. His abilities in game, as well as his performances at camps and combines, make us confident he is now the No. 1 quarterback in the class. (Manning is still No. 2.)”
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Nelson announced his commitment to USC in November days after former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley left Norman for Los Angeles. Nelson de-committed from Oklahoma following USC’s announcement that Riley would be the new head coach.