With a late-season bye week facing Marin Catholic (CA), junior QB/WR Morgan Mahalak took the opportunity to further amplify his talents on the East coast. When I caught up with him, he was packing for a trip to North Carolina. “I’m mainly going to be in Chapel Hill to see UNC, but I’ll probably spend a day at North Carolina State as well.” The trip comes at a very busy time for Mahalak, whose Wildcats are in the top 100 in California and a standout Div. III team from the North Coast Section.
Though he is not the starting QB—senior Cal commit Jared Goff holds that distinction—Mahalak has found success as part of the wide receiver rotation. “I’m glad I can be out there helping the offense and plus, I’ve got some extra game film now. Probably my best highlight as a receiver was catching a 70-yard touchdown from Jared against Miramonte to open the season. That was a big game for us against an East Bay team, and it was on television.”
In the video clip above, local sportscaster Mark Ibanez announces the play Mahalak is referring to. And when he does get snaps at quarterback, he makes them count. Against Terra Linda on Oct. 13, he threw a 70-yard touchdown of his own during a 45-6 rout.
Defensively, the Wildcats have not allowed more than 12 points in their last six games. At 8-1, they finish the regular season on Nov. 3 against Tamalpais and then head back to the playoffs. A year ago, only a two-point loss to Campolindo at the O.Co Coliseum kept Marin Catholic out of the state championship in Carson, CA.
When the season does eventually end, it’s back to the offseason grind for Mahalak. “I spent a lot of time last spring and summer working with NFA. It’s more difficult to get together during the season, but I give so much credit to Coach Will. From fundamentals to recruiting and getting my name out there, I owe it all to him.”
Those recruiting efforts from programs across the country have gained momentum. Already with interest from Pac-12 schools like Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA, Mahalak is in strong consideration at Miami (FL) and Vanderbilt with his North Carolina trip looming. “I have family all over the country, so that’s why I’m considering so many different areas. I’d be comfortable pretty much anywhere. I obviously want to find a strong football program, but academics are also very important to me.”
Over the summer, he worked out for Notre Dame and hoped for the best. “That was a strange camp. There was a case of food poisoning going around, so a lot of people were getting really sick. Luckily, I didn’t get it but things just didn’t go as planned. If it’s meant to be at Notre Dame, it’ll happen.”
For now, Mahalak takes great pride in being a top-five 2014 QB prospect from Northern California. “There’s a group of us kind of banding together. You have JaJuan Lawson (Casa Grande), Manny Wilkins (San Marin), K.J. Carta-Samuels (Bellarmine), Keller Chryst (Palo Alto) and me.” These players all are excelling at their respective schools and head the wave of juniors that will continue to dominate the Bay Area prep scene as seniors next year.