The latest with Rivals250 LB Malaki Hamrick
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The latest with Rivals250 LB Malaki Hamrick

Malaki Hamrick
Malaki Hamrick (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Malaki Hamrick announced his top five just after Thanksgiving on his mother’s birthday and has a tentative decision date. The Rivals250 edge defender out of Shelby, N.C. gave an update on where he stands with his top five contenders.

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CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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IN HIS OWN WORDS...

“These are the five schools I thought I had the best opportunity at as an athlete and a man,” Hamrick said. “I want to announce my commitment on my birthday, April 29th, but the dead period doesn't end until April 15th. That's not a lot of time to give myself some time to make the right decision.”

Appalachian State- “I’ve always had a special connection with App State because my cousin used to attend there and my old high school coach is there now,” he said. “I visited twice and had a really good time. I really enjoyed myself and I definitely felt what I needed to feel.”

North Carolina- “I think they're on the rise with this 2021 class being ranked so highly,” said Hamrick. “Just seeing what they did this season, North Carolina these next few years is going to be a sight to see. The best players in North Carolina play for North Carolina. They definitely have some good players now that I'm familiar with and some of them are my friends. It was really impressive to see all those commits. I'm close with coach Bateman, coach Dewitt, and coach Gillespie. I like how interested in me they are. They told me I'm their number one priority. I don't think they got a hybrid linebacker type like me in this last class so they were telling me how important it was to them for me to be at their school and what kind of impact I could have.”

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Notre Dame- “I definitely feel like I could fit perfectly in their defense because, watching the players they put out, it tells me I if I go there and do what I'm supposed to do I could be going into the NFL Draft,” he said. “Notre Dame definitely has experience with getting people into the league and that's the goal. I haven't been there yet but I talk to coach Kelly in the past.”

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Ohio State- “Even though the outcome the other night wasn't great for them, they still just played for a National Championship,” Hamrick said. “It's the biggest stage. Coach Johnson knows a little something about the defensive line. He's put a whole lot of athletes in the NFL. I really want to take a visit up there. That's one of the places I want to go before I make my final decision. They've showed a lot of interest. I've always enjoyed watching Ohio State football. We have a pretty strong relationship and they told me I could be the next Chase Young.”

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Penn State- “My trainer played at Penn State and he knows some things about the program,” he said. “He's told me a lot of stories about them that have gotten my attention. It's been a minute since I've talked to them but they've sent me some encouraging stuff or told me about some of the things that are going on. I haven't been up there yet.”

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On his visit plans- “The only schools in my top five that I've visited so far are North Carolina and App State,” said Hamrick. “I’m definitely going to make an effort to get out to the other three schools. I'm going to wait to take my visits until things open up so I can do the normal things you would do on a visit.”

RIVALS' REACTION...

Hamrick didn’t give much away but , reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear North Carolina is playing with a lead. The Tar Heels have done a good job getting his attention early in the process and the rest of the teams certainly have some ground to make up. Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame have each appealed to him for different reasons. Visits to these three schools will really help him sort out the next steps in his recruitment but everything could get delayed if the NCAA recruiting dead period is extended through April.