Mahalak Weighs Early Options

2014 Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic quarterback Morgan Mahalak is still early on in the recruiting process but would like to commit soon...

2014 Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic quarterback Morgan Mahalak spent his junior year backing up Jared Goff, but says that the experience of playing behind the Cal commit was valuable in developing as a player.

"It was hugely valuable," Mahalak said. "I think, if it was someone else, like a guy who wasn't going to play in college or who didn't know the game as well, I'm not sure how much I would have benefitted from it. Having him to learn from has just been invaluable. I've learned so much from him, things I wouldn't have picked up on my own. I owe him a lot of credit."

Now, Mahalak will take the reins of the Marin Catholic offense next season, and he's excited for the opportunity to take the number one snaps. Additionally, after playing well over the summer in camps, Mahalak has seen his recruitment start to heat up.

"Schools have been talking to me for the last seven or eight months," Mahalak said. "As of right now, my top schools are Miami, North Carolina, and Oregon. It's kind of wide open after that."

So far, the only school that has offered Mahalak is South Alabama, but he thinks that Miami and North Carolina are on the verge. One school that has been in to see Mahalak is UCLA, and there could be some mutual interest there.

"I'm definitely interested in UCLA," Mahalak said. "I have family down in LA, and playing in front of them, I know they'd love that. They have great weather. I went down for a game earlier in the season when they played Houston with my Mom and it was great. And the education is great."

Two other schools—Florida and Notre Dame—could be options if they showed interest. Mahalak just visited Florida this past weekend, which he enjoyed, and his father and grandfather attended Notre Dame, which would make that the dream school.

Although he hasn't even started his senior season yet, Mahalak would be interested in getting the recruiting process over quickly, and would rather not drag it into the football season.

"The earlier the better," Mahalak said. "My birthday is coming up in March here, so depending on how things go, maybe I can declare on my birthday."

As for how he'll make his decisions, Mahalak already has a list of guidelines in mind when picking a school.

"Number one is coaches," Mahalak said. "I have to like the coaches. I want to develop a good relationship with them, because otherwise it's pointless. Those are the guys who are going to play you, and coach you for the next four years. Next would be academics and then style of football."

To help him with the process, he's also gotten some valuable advice from Goff, who is just now getting finished with the recruiting process himself.

"One thing he told me is that every coach is going to tell you they love you, but regardless, it's a business," Mahalak said. "He told me to be careful and try not to get too attached. It's a game, the whole thing, and you have to play the game."

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