Five-star ATH Malaki Starks is nearing a decision

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Five-star athlete Malaki Starks’ recruitment has been littered with college football’s elite programs. Now, the Georgia native is closing to calling one home.

Starks is set to announce his commitment Thursday with Alabama, Clemson and Georgia as his finalists, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Starks has also received offers from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC and Virginia Tech.

The 2022 prospect is fresh off a junior season in which he dominated on both sides of the ball for Jefferson (Ga.) High School, rushing for 1,537 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 11 touchdowns through the air at quarterback. He also starred as a defensive back, making 41 tackles and two interceptions.

“In probably 16, 17 years as a head coach and upwards of the high 20s as a coach, I’ve never seen a combination of a player at that level with that ability who’s still one of the three or four best kids I’ve been fortunate to coach,” Jefferson head coach Gene Cathcart said. “We all give the halo effect to our great players but he’s unquestionably one of the best kids I’ve ever been around whether he’s a great player or not. He’s genuine, he’s charismatic, he leads in a very unselfish way.”

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Starks currently ranks as the No. 2 athlete and No. 13 overall recruit in the class of 2022. His scouting report reads:

Owns a sturdy, well-built frame for a rising junior. Has added some mass over the course of the past year and should tip the scales in excess of 200 pounds by the end of his junior year. Has one of the more well-rounded athletic profiles we’ve seen in the 2022 cycle early on as a multi-event standout in track and basketball along with football. Has strong top-end speed with a 11.06 time in the 100 meters as a freshman. Plays all over the field for Jefferson and scored touchdowns in a number of ways as a sophomore. Shows some dynamic playmaking ability and athleticism on offense, lining up at receiver and in the backfield. Works as a safety on defense and displays both range and physicality in operating within the secondary. While he is a true “athlete” at this point, he may best project at linebacker longterm given his athleticism, size and versatile skill set. Looks like one of the top underclassmen in Georgia at this point. Projects as a multi-year starter at the Power Five level with the upside to develop into an early round NFL Draft pick.

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