"I want to play. That's all I want to do – I just want to play. So I'm going to do everything I can to get on the field."
The prospects of Mularkey, a linebacker, playing are promising.
"What I've been told is that Hunter Furr and I are likely to see a lot of special teams our first year," Mularkey said. "I haven't really talked to Coach [Art] Kaufman about it, but [former] Coach [Tommy] Thigpen had told me a lot of nickel packages and when they need speed on the field is where I've got a good chance of seeing some time. We'll see when I get up there."
For about two months, Mularkey was a part of Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian School's track and field team, participating in the 100-meter dash and shot put.
"I was doing it more to increase my speed and get stronger," Mularkey said. "I wasn't really doing it to win. I was just doing it because I needed it [and] it helps you out with football – that was the only motivation, really."
Mularkey's best time in the 100 was 11.3 seconds, while his best put was 47 feet.
For the past two months, Mularkey has been working out with a personal trainer.
"We do a lot of the stuff Coach [Jeff] Connors sent me and we do a lot of [the trainer's] stuff," Mularkey said. "It's a lot of quick muscle movement – just trying to get the speed up, that's the most important thing."
With his work so far, Mularkey has noticed an increase in his size – he's now 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds – and quickness.
"I've gotten really quick feet; that's probably more important than my size," Mularkey said. "I'm trying to keep that up as I get bigger."
Mularkey, who is already academically qualified, plans to be at 220 pounds when he arrives on campus on June 13.
Steve Hagen and Thigpen, who both played major parts in Mularkey's recruitment, left UNC after Signing Day. Mularkey wasn't fazed much by either departure.
"I've grown up in an NFL family," Mularkey said. "I've seen people come and go. I don't think I was affected as maybe other people were, because I'm not going there for them. I'm going there for Coach [Butch] Davis and to play for North Carolina – not for the [assistant] coaches.
"I feel like Coach Davis is going to hire coaches that he feels are quality coaches. I don't feel I can go wrong with anyone Coach Davis hires."
Since Kaufman replaced Thigpen as linebacker coach, he has served as Mularkey's primary contact with UNC. Mularkey says the two speak at least once a week.
"He's just trying to get to know me, since he's new and I'm trying to get to know him," Mularkey said. "[We're] just trying to feel each other out to see what to expect once I get up there."
Mularkey hasn't discussed, with anyone, his UNC jersey number.
"It doesn't matter to me," Mularkey said. "It doesn't bother me. Whatever they give me, I'll wear. I don't have a set lucky number. Whatever I get I'll wear."
Mularkey plans to room with Hunter Furr.
"I've been up there a couple times when [Furr has] been up there and we've just kind of talked," Mularkey said. "My host for my official visit, Ryan Taylor, went to the same high school as him and he just talking about how good we'd be together and how much we had in common. I think it was just a good set up, because we're both trying to get the same thing – trying to get playing time early."