Blue White Illustrated

September 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

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5 6 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M MULDOON: Unfortunately for him, his class came in during our COVID year. That was his freshman year. Some- times I'll bring a kid up, but he came in as a tight end and a defensive lineman, and my team that year was really good. That was my best team. If we had a nor- mal year, we probably would have gone far. So, I didn't bring any of those kids up. With COVID, I couldn't really mix the freshmen with the older kids. It was just a nightmare that year. But he came up his sophomore year and started to show us something. We thought, wow, this kid is starting to really grow into himself. That year, he made a big move when it came to his workouts from January into the summer. By the time we got to August, he had really got- ten bigger and worked hard at becoming a true defensive end. His body just blossomed that year. BWI: What are his strengths? You've seen him more than anyone. What should Penn State fans look for? MULDOON: He has great get- off and has great hands. Mylachi also works really hard at his position and his craft. He's coached by one of our former coaches, Tony Beaty, and he does a great job with him. He is a relentless pursuer. Overall, he's just a really good ath- lete. Mylachi played basketball here, too. He has really outstanding bend and change-of-direction. He'll come down hard on the line and is a great tackler, too. Mylachi isn't the kind of kid who just uses his size as an advantage. He'll put his shoulder into guys, but he'll also go get a guy's legs. When he gets free, he's just a mon- ster coming in there with those big, long arms. He just eats people up. I really love his bend, how good of an athlete he is and how much of a relentless pursuer he is. He's always getting after it. BWI: What's he like in the locker room? Mylachi has always been quiet with the media. What's he like with his teammates and coaches? MULDOON: He's definitely the kind of guy that if you had a daughter, you'd be fine with him dating her. He's a shake-your-hand, and I mean really shake your hand, look-you-in-the-eye, "yes sir, no sir," kind of guy. We've been to a bunch of places with his mom and his grandma, and he's al- ways the same at every visit. He's a very humble and focused kid. He's a really good person. Like I said, if he was dating your daughter, you'd have no problems with it. BWI: Can you share any details about his recruitment? It felt like Penn State emerged as a favorite early on, but he's largely kept the details to himself. MULDOON: It's certainly been a process for him and his mom. It was something they had to get used to. They haven't really shown their hands a whole lot with anyone, me included. We've all given them some words of en- couragement. I just wanted to always make sure he was going to places that he wanted to go visit. I know that Notre Dame was high on his list. Syracuse did a great job re- cruiting him. So did Pitt, Rutgers, Texas A&M. Of course, Penn State was the first one, and they've done a great job, as has everyone else. Coach [Terry] Smith, Coach [Deion] Barnes, Coach [James] Franklin, they all came down to see him. Gabe Infante, who is an analyst up there, is someone I know well. I coached under him at [St. Joseph's Prep], so we talked a lot as well. They've all done just a great job throughout this process, staying con- sistent with Mylachi and his family. It was obvious early on that Penn State would be one of his top places. He's also very close with his mom and grandma, so anywhere that they could get in the car to go see him would be high on the list. They've been incredibly supportive of everything he does. BWI: Did you know Penn State's coaches before this recruitment? I'm curious to know more about your inter- actions with them. MULDOON: I know Coach Smith pretty well. He's been coming here. He played at Penn State with one of our former guys at Bonner, Ed Monaghan. They were on the same team together, so they know each other well. When I knew Terry was coming in, I reached out to Eddie to have him come in so they could see each other. Coach Smith is great. He's a really nice person. I would trust sending any of my kids to play for him. Coach Barnes is a Philly guy, too. He worked really hard with Mylachi. I got to know Coach Franklin too when he visited. We had a great visit and talk when he came down. I know Mylachi feels very comfort- able with Coach Franklin. BWI: What's Mylachi's potential? What do you think he's capable of doing at the next level? MULDOON: He's always been a really good player coming up through youth football and now here. He's one of the top players in what I think is a really good league. Every place we visited, every staff we talked with, loved his projections and what he could become. Obviously, he plays a valued position nowadays in football, too. They all thought it would be easy to get him up to the weight they want, whether that's 250, 260, whatever it may be. One thing about Mylachi is that he's blessed with a lot of really good things like his family and friends. He has great people around him. Athletically, his reach, his length — it's what you would expect from some- one who's 6-8. He's also only 16. He has more growing to do and will graduate as a 17-year-old. I think his potential is limitless. With the kind of coaching he'll get with those guys, the sky's the limit. There's no doubt in my mind that if he stays on track and just continues to progress, he can be drafted. His path has been incredible. He's got that gene in him. He's incredibly blessed. ■ "When he gets free, he's just a monster coming in there with those big, long arms. He just eats people up." M U L D O O N O N W I L L I A M S

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