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Los Alamitos quarterback and USC signee Malachi Nelson was named Gatorade California Footballer of the Year for a second time and is a finalist for Gatorade’s National Player of the Year award.
Nelson, who graduated from Los Alamitos in December for early enrollment at USC, was named a sophomore Gatorades State Player of the Year during the coronavirus-shortened spring 2021 season.
The Gatorade award considers athletic achievement as well as grades and character on and off the field.
Last season, Nelson played 67 percent of his passes for 2,898 yards and 35 TDs due to injury.
The winner of Gatorade’s National Player of the Year will be announced later this month. The other two finalists are Arch Manning, a quarterback from New Orleans, Louisiana, and Jackson Arnold, a quarterback from Denton, Texas.
Nelson led the Griffins (9-3) to a third straight Sunset League title unbeaten and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals, where they lost to Mater Dei.
Nelson was voted Sunset League MVP and first-team All-County.
He maintained a 3.35 GPA and helped a Pop Warner league in Los Alamitos as a coach and with a donation from his NIL allowance.
“It was a good time to give something back to the children,” Nelson said recently about his commitment. “I made a deal with this car company and we were able to donate about $10,000 to the program.”
Nelson played with a torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder this season. He was due to have surgery in December.
In the defeat against Mater Dei he had back spasms.
Nelson ended his four-year career with Los Alamitos with nearly 8,000 yards in passing and 105 touchdowns.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/06/los-alamitos-quarterback-malachi-nelson-wins-gatorades-california-player-of-the-year-award/ Los Alamitos QB Malachi Nelson is Gatorade’s California Player of the Year and Finalist for National Award – Orange County Register