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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Mahalak arrives on USC's radar

By Erik McKinney

Morgan Mahalak (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) will be one of the more interesting recruits to watch in the West region this spring and summer.

He's spent his high school career behind 2013 California signee Jared Goff, which means schools have very little film of Mahalak at the quarterback position. But his size and skill set, along with his terrific athleticism, have college coaches interested enough that Mahalak is receiving serious interest from schools such as Boise State, Boston College, Colorado, Duke, Miami and Oregon State, among others.

This past weekend, Mahalak made a trip to Los Angeles in order to spend time with the UCLA coaches on Saturday and attend USC's junior day on Sunday. It was Mahalak's second time on the UCLA campus. The quarterback said he was able to spend some time with Y receivers coach Taylor Mazzone.

"We were able to talk some football and watch film," Mahalak said. "I think he was really impressed with my film and I think my size caught him off guard."

But the biggest reason for the trip south was to take in junior day at USC on Sunday. It was Mahalak's first time visiting the Trojans.

"Today at USC was awesome," Mahalak said. "I loved everything about it. It's just a beautiful campus and the facilities are probably the best ones I've seen yet."

Mahalak has developed a relationship with USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton, who took control of the quarterbacks meeting.

"He's a high-energy type of guy and was really excited to see me," Mahalak said. "I was on my game when he was asking questions about coverages and I think I stood out during that."

Mahalak guessed there were around 15 quarterbacks in attendance, including three he knew previously from various camps -- Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), who is one of the few California recruits with a USC offer, Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) and JaJuan Lawson (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande). Though Chryst is undoubtedly the top in-state quarterback target at this time, as he received a very early offer, Mahalak will continue to push for attention from the Trojans.

"Coach Helton said he's really excited about me and he's going to come visit me twice this spring," Mahalak said. "I want to keep building that relationship with him and to see if I have to come down for a camp this summer. He said he thinks USC will be a viable option for me and he wants me to stick with it and have USC in my mind."

Perhaps the most interest thing about the visit is that the end result spun Mahalak just about 180 degrees from where he was heading into the weekend.

"My family and I have grown up Notre Dame fans, because my dad and my grandpa went there," Mahalak said. "But obviously when a school of this caliber recruits me, I have to give it my attention. It's definitely on top of my list of schools I'd like to consider."