Lincoln Riley Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the USC Trojans losing freshman quarterback Malaki Nelson to the transfer portal, the team suddenly has a big need at the quarterback position. And based on some reports, the team tried to fill that hole with a five-star quarterback in the 2024 high school recruiting class, but that attempt failed.

According to several reports, the USC Trojans tried to flip five-star Florida Gators quarterback commit DJ Lagway on National Signing Day. And USC head coach Lincoln Riley addressed that pursuit in a recent press conference, though he couldn’t discuss specifics due to NCAA rules.

“I don’t think I can talk about anybody we didn’t sign for a rules standpoint,” Riley said according to On3. “But we’re not moving too fast on this. Obviously, the Malachi thing, it was a surprise to us and who we take as that young quarterback is an important decision for this program. It’s really important and there are so many options here.”

Obviously, that plan didn’t work out as Lagway ultimately ended up signing with the Gators, leaving the Trojans still in search of another quarterback. And it sounds like Riley plans to take a careful approach to finding that quarterback.

“You got to take the right one because the person that takes this could be in a pretty unique position pretty quick,” Riley said. “A pretty advantageous position very quick. It’s certainly important.”

We’ll have to see who USC ultimately signs for the position.