Oregon quarterback commitment Morgan Mahalak may not have made the final group at the Elite 11, but he still came away from the quarterback camp in Beaverton, Ore., a better player.
Mahalak is the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and he's been committed to Oregon since April. The 247Sports composite ranks him as a 3-star recruit, while the 247Sports exclusive rankings list him as a 4-star.
No matter the ranking, Mahalak has the potential to be a successful college quarterback, especially in Oregon's scheme. He has a strong and accurate arm. He's also a threat to run and can be elusive and hard to catch in the open field.
Mahalak was a deserving pick to compete at the Elite 11, and he was happy to discuss the experience in a recent phone interview with Bleacher Report.
"It was an intense competition," he said. "But it was a lot of fun, and I learned more than I could ever imagine. It was hard to not make that Top 11 at the end, but what I took away from the camp was so much more important than those final rankings."
Other quarterbacks who competed in the Elite 11 included 5-star Texas A&M commit Kyle Allen, 4-star Alabama commit David Cornwell and 4-star Florida commit Will Grier. Mahalak said working out with such highly rated players was an awesome experience.
"It just elevated my game even more,'' he said. "It was really important for me to be able to take part in that competition. In these recent weeks after the Elite 11, I can tell I've gotten so much better.''
Going back to his Marin Catholic high school team in Kentfield, Calif., Mahalak said, "it seems that seeing the defense is so clear for me. The game has just slowed down so much."
One of the more interesting stories at the camp was 3-star quarterback and recent Auburn commit Sean White, who came out of nowhere to win the MVP award. Mahalak was on the same 7-on-7 team as White and worked with him in a lot of the same groups.
"Every time I watched him, I never saw an incomplete ball," Mahalak said. "I saw so many accurate passes. The energy, the confidence he brought to 7-on-7 was pretty remarkable. He was pretty fun to watch."
Mahalak also opened up about one of the more interesting figures at the camp, former NFL quarterback and Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer.
"He's interesting. He's really passionate about what he does," Mahalak said. "He's really energetic, really hands-on. Not only does he explain how to do things, but he explains why we do certain things. He's a great coach. I learned a lot from him.''