Malik Dear is a versatile class of 2015 athlete.
Dear, out of Murrah High School in Jackson, Miss., stands 5'9 and weighs in at 217 pounds. As of July, he's rated as a consensus four-star athlete by 247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout. The former three list him as an athlete, and the latter has him as a running back. The 247Sports Composite, a compilation of data from the four major recruiting services, ranks him as the 131st-best player in America, the 10th-best athlete and the fourth-best player from the state of Mississippi.
Dear is drawing interest from a few top programs, mostly in the Southeast. He holds scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas State, Southern Miss, USC and Florida.
Note: Recruits commit and decommit throughout the process. No effort is made to note commitments or decommitments in these scouting reports. All we note is claimed offers at the time of evaluation.
Scouting by Derrell Warren (@yssd)
Dear is a versatile recruit who is used all over the field for his high school team. Specifically, he gets snaps at quarterback, running back and receiver. He’s a stoutly built athlete who’s more quick than fast. At the college level he probably best projects as an all-purpose running back who lines up in various spots in the offensive formation.
Lined up at quarterback, Dear primarily get carries on read-option plays. His film at receiver might be the most impressive, however. He shows good burst off the line and has a knack for getting behind coverage. Although it isn’t certain that he’d be able to separate from college defensive backs on a consistent basis.
"As a runner, Dear is a "one-cut and go" type of back with plus-level cutback ability. He flashes good acceleration, getting up to top speed within a few steps. He doesn’t waste motion in the backfield and loses little speed in transition when changing direction. He can be a bit straight lined at times, and isn’t a natural weaver through traffic. He often defaults to taking his carries outside when space has been reduced. Would like to see him use some of those carries to grind out contested yards.
Breaking down his runs on film, they primarily come out of spread sets that are designed to scheme him out into space. Not many traditional in-line type of run to evaluate. Though Dear exhibits good body control and stop and start quickness, he isn't overly elusive and doesn't exhibit a ton of open field creativity. Not sure that he’ll create a ton of big runs at the college level, but he should generate his share of 10-15 yard carries because of his burst and decisiveness.
Transitioning to college: From a system perspective, Dear probably best fits in spread system that allows him to get touches in space as a runner, but also gives him to opportunity to line up in the slot to create mismatch opportunities in the passing game. Not to mention the chance to get the ball on fly sweep opportunities as well.