The 6-3, 190-pound quarterback is unlike most juniors signal callers in the country. His team is 12-1 and his offense is averaging 45.5 points per game. He's received scholarship interest from the Pac-12 to the ACC, but what makes Mahalak unique is he isn't the team's starting quarterback.
The 2014 prospect serves as the backup to four-star quarterback Jared Goff, a commit to California, and an Elite 11 passer. In all honesty, the situation couldn't be any better.
"(Goff) is in front of me right now, but it is his final year, so I am behind him getting a lot of attention, thankfully, from him and it has been helpful having him here," Mahalak told Badger Nation. "I am starting at wide receiver and at the end of the game will play some quarterback or when I need to go in. I have had a big role at receiver this year and that has definitely helped recognize my athleticism and has given me an advantage over other kids."
Without schools getting a real chance to see him under center, Mahalak's recruitment is just underway, but the interest has started to steadily improve as the Wildcats advance further in the playoffs.
"I would say most of the schools are pretty even, but Boise State, Oregon State, Miami and Boston College are a few that I am really close with," Mahalak said. "Obviously Florida is sticking out to me right now and that is big. That is a school I am very interested in just because my grandmother and my grandfather live in Florida, so the opportunity to play in front of them is huge. Oregon as well because I have family in Eugene. All the schools I am getting even attention, but getting play in front of family is huge."
One school that Mahalak grew up idolizing and cherished was Notre Dame. In addition to having family connections in Florida and Oregon, Mahalak's dad, grandfather and great uncle all went to South Bend.
"I have been a Notre Dame fan since I was a kid and it has really just been my team," Mahalak said. "I have been there several times now and holds a special place in my heart. They are not in the picture right now, but if they ever to happen, then I would be very interested obviously." Growing up a fan of Midwest football and the Fighting Irish, Mahalak was certainly intrigued when the University of Wisconsin and linebackers coach Andy Buh started sending him mail. Knowing full well that the Badgers have ended their season in Pasadena the past two years, the early interest has intrigued Mahalak.
"Obviously they are a ground and pound type of team," Mahalak said. "They have a tremendous track record with all the Rose Bowls and have a great coach in Bret Bielema. He seems like a fun guy to play for and I know offensively there is a lot of running in pro-set (offense). I know they send guys to the NFL like Russell Wilson, who is doing a great job and they are just a great program.
"An offer from Wisconsin would be huge. I know I will respect any offer I get and take it into consideration. I know if I got an offer from Wisconsin that I would see a trail of offers come, but I would take time looking into the school and not rush any decision because I got some time."
Having already camp stops at Colorado, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oregon and Oregon State and taken unofficial visits to Miami, North Carolina and UCLA, Mahalak next plans are to schedule a time to visit Boise State, Boston College and Florida.
Willing to go to whatever school shows him the most interest, Mahalak is confident his skill set can translate to the college level.
"I feel I am a very gifted runner as well as passer," he said. "I have a great arm and I am physical when I run the ball. I can take a hit and am very smart on the football field that makes good decisions. I know the offense in and out and I am a great leader. That is something I pride my game about is being a leader and leading the guys. I think that is why I want to play quarterback so much. I think my weakness is just being consistency like hitting the easy routes, but sometimes you miss and that is all maturity that will come in time. My game has really stepped up a lot and I have really progressed a lot."