JACKSON, Miss. – Recruiting has changed. Even though the class of 2013 is still nearly four months away from signing letters of intent, college coaches from around the country are not only offering prospects from the class of 2014, but also working hard on some of the best in 2015.
One of those top prospects in the class of 2015 is playmaker Malik Dear (Jackson, Miss./Murrah).
Class of 2015 athlete Malik Dear has more than 1,500 all-purpose yards this season.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back, receiver, quarterback and return man is putting up huge numbers in the state’s capitol eight games into his sophomore season.
Among Dear’s 870 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and 577 yards and seven touchdowns are four games of more than 150 yards rushing and two games of more than 150 yards receiving. All told Dean’s 1,556 all-purpose yards have come on 118 touches good for 13.2 yards per touch.
One person who is neither surprised or taken aback by the continuous big plays buy the budding star is Murrah head coach Zachary Grady.
“Malik Dear is one of the more explosive athletes I have ever witnessed in my years of coaching at the high school and college level,” Grady said.
“The kid is very unique in his skill set with his strength and power. He’s a real stocky kid at around 190-pounds that has the explosive speed that you look for at the next level.”
According to Grady, it’s the versatility of Dear along with his elite athleticism and strength that will make him a nationally recruited prospect.
“With the wide open offenses that we see now a days, he’s a dynamic athlete that will be used as a slot receiver and running back at the next level, and even wildcat quarterback,” he said.
Dear’s talents don’t grind to a halt with the conclusion of the football season. He will head into the spring as one of the top young sprinters in the Southeast Region.
“I feel like he will also be highly sought after on the track as well. He will be highly recruited in track too. Kid is a 10.4 or 10.5 100-meter kid as a ninth grader, and now he is bigger, faster and stronger. He should tear the track up in the spring if he stays healthy,” he said.
While the recruiting process is yet to officially begin for Dear, he’s ahead of
the game paying attention to a number of college teams.
“I like Oregon,” Dear said. “Their offense and how they run their offense is similar to ours. I also watch South Carolina, Florida State, Ohio State and Alabama.”
For Dear, the season couldn’t be going any better in his second year on varsity.
“I’m having a very successful season this year. I’m getting close to my personal goal of 30 touchdowns, and I’m helping my team in the best way possible,” he said.
The jump in production, with the understanding that Dear has gained a lot of strength, is due to a key part of the equation – experience.
“My knowledge of the game has gotten better. I’m learning more and more how to play the game every game I play,” he said.
As a freshman in 2011-12, Dear caught 46 passes for 994 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed 37 times for 434 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games.
- Dear has played in 20 varsity football games. He has 205 touches for 3,039 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns.
- He was expected to challenge for regional and state titles on the track last spring, but an injury cut short his season.
- Dear is in advanced classes, and carries a GPA over 3.0.