Malik Dear to Mississippi State: Bulldogs Land 4-Star ATH Prospect

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2014

Mississippi State secured a commitment from one of the top playmakers in the 2015 class in 4-star athlete Malik Dear.

Paul Jones of 247Sports provided news of the announcement:

Despite being just 5'9", Dear has a lot of strength at 217 pounds and uses it to break tackles with consistency. However, he is even better when he avoids contact thanks to his elite speed and agility.

According to ESPN, Dear ran a 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and a 20-yard shuttle in 4.28 seconds, ranking near the best in the class in each category.

With good strength, elite athleticism and the ability to find the end zone on virtually any play, the Mississippi native is clearly one of the top offensive players in his class. He is rated as the No. 10 athlete and the No. 4 player in his state at any position, according to 247 Sports' composite rankings. He is also considered the No. 130 overall prospect in 2015.

The only question is what position he will play at the next level. At Murrah, he lined up as a running back and wide receiver while also spending time as a Wildcat quarterback. Amazingly, he found ways to rack up yards and touchdowns at each spot.

He has been training as a wide receiver at offseason camps, but Barton Simmons of 247Sports sees a move in the future. He explained that Dear "has the body and frame of a stocky, powerful running back. We think that's what he likely evolves into. Though he never made a major splash at wide receiver on Sunday, his skill set is still unique."

On the other hand, it is hard to count out his ability to make plays as a slot receiver. Here is a look at him using his physicality to separate himself at Rivals Camp:

No matter what position he plays, he should have a strong career with the Bulldogs after choosing them over a bunch of other interested schools. Dear had a choice of virtually any school in the SEC after impressing everyone with his production throughout high school.

Still, he sent a message to those that did not have him on their list:

With Dear's strength and playmaking ability, you can be certain that the coaching staff will do its best to get him on the field as soon as possible. While he might not have a starting spot cut out for him, he can contribute in multiple ways on offense as long as he gets a chance.

His skill set also indicates that he could be successful on special teams as an elite returner on both kickoffs and punts.

No matter where he is used, you can be certain that his new coaches and fans will be happy with the young man's decision once he suits up for the first time.


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