Anybody still doubting Spencer Danielson now?
Boise State’s first-year coach continued a strong offseason with his biggest move yet, landing a commitment Saturday from former USC quarterback Malachi Nelson.
The former 5-star prospect was the No. 1 overall ranked player in the 2023 class before signing with USC. He originally committed to Oklahoma while Lincoln Riley was the head coach before following him to USC.
Boise, this is it.. Committed #BleedBlue
— malachi nelson (@Malachi) January 7, 2024
Nelson arrived in Boise on Thursday to a crowd of roughly 40 people waiting for him at the airport at the start of his official visit. He posed for pictures with fans, and did so again on Friday when seen at the Idaho Steelheads hockey game. Just getting Nelson to visit Boise State seemed like a win for Danielson – but landing his commitment before he even left town was nearly unthinkable.
He’ll be the highest ranked prep prospect in any sport to play at Boise State.
The commitment of Nelson sent shockwaves around the college football world, with ESPN, FOX, Sports Illustrated and nearly every national outlet reporting on the news. ESPN’s news ticker at the bottom of the TV screen even included a blurb on Nelson committing to Boise State on Saturday evening.
Nelson passed for 2,898 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior at Los Alamitos High School in Southern California and had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan before signing with USC. But he was behind potential No. 1 pick Caleb Williams on the depth chart and played just four snaps.
According to a story from TrojanSports.com, Nelson was limited physically due to his recovery from an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that limited him during spring practice, as well as ‘other injury issues’ throughout the season. But Riley and USC expected him to battle for the starting spot in 2024 before his decision in mid-December to enter the transfer portal.
“Malachi is obviously a young guy, he’s got a world of talent, he’s working hard, he’s had a few physical hurdles he’s had to overcome, which has not been – it hasn’t necessarily been maybe the smoothest of years and a lot of it out of his control just trying to get back healthy where he can train and develop to the level that he wants to and we all want to,” Riley said, according to TrojanSports.com. “He’s certainly going to get there and certainly has a bright future and has battled for a lot of things. So we’re eager to get him back completely healthy and back where he’s developing on a really fast track, and I don’t think he’s that far away from it but that’s still been a little bit of a process.”
The Broncos were looking to add at least one quarterback to the mix after Taylen Green transferred to Arkansas. Maddux Madsen and CJ Tiller were the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster heading into the spring, with Madsen likely unable to participate in team drills due to a knee injury. True freshman Kaleb Annett, a three-star prospect, will arrive in the summer.
While some schools were rumored to have offered more lucrative NIL packages, the allure of immediate playing time and potentially playing in the expanded College Football Playoff helped sway Nelson to Boise State. The Broncos, with star running back Ashton Jeanty and a number of key starters returning, should be among the Group of 5 favorites next season to land the guaranteed spot in the new 12-team field.
A report on Thursday from ESPN said Boise State was the favorite to land Nelson due to his relationship with Boise State offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan, which dated back to his time at Washington.
In barely a month since being named the full-time head coach, Danielson has already gotten both Jeanty and kicker Jonah Dalmas to stay and now has landed the top commitment in school history. Sunday he added another commitment from Indiana wide receiver Cam Camper, who had 63 catches for 854 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games with the Hoosiers the past two seasons.
Boise State also added former Cal cornerback Jeremiah Earby earlier in the week.
The semester starts Monday at Boise State, and the three commitments could become official in the next few days.
Stay tuned to Bronco Nation News for the latest recruiting coverage. B.J. Rains and Mike Prater will be live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Monday at 9 a.m. to recap a historic weekend for the Broncos…