USC quarterback Malachi Nelson is entering the transfer portal after one season with the program, according to 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz.

It’s a significant development in Los Angeles and might foretell the arrival of a transfer quarterback. USC has been linked to Kansas State transfer Will Howard out of the portal, and USC coach Lincoln Riley recently left open the possibility the Trojans would go searching in the portal this offseason at the position.

But Nelson was a massive win in the 2022 class, and he’ll depart without registering a single yard as a Trojan. Nelson threw three passes this season, completing one of them for no gain.

He’ll have four seasons of eligibility remaining after redshirting during the 2023 season.

Nelson signed with the program as a 5-star recruit and the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2023 class. An Elite 11 finalist and an Under Armour All-American while at Los Alamitos, Nelson initially committed to Riley when he was at Oklahoma and flipped his commitment to USC when Riley took the job.

USC held off a pretty serious push from Texas A&M to sign Nelson.

With Caleb Williams expected to enter the NFL Draft, Nelson was expected to compete with Miller Moss in the spring for the starting job. USC doesn’t currently have a high school quarterback pledged to its 2024 class. It also doesn’t have a 2025 quarterback yet. However, USC does hold a verbal commitment from Julian Lewis, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2026 class.