Considered by many as the top cornerback prospect in the state last year, Malone signed with Alabama but failed to qualify out of high school. He's now enrolled at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, seeing action at tailback.
Behind in his academics, Malone is determined to graduate from Hinds and resign with the Tide. "The people at Hinds care about me in the classroom," he told BamaMag.com last week. "They are going to help me with whatever I need.
"I'm making the grade in the classroom. I've only struggled with one math class so far."
According to Malone, his junior college debut was delayed as he waited on clearance from an injury dating back to high school. When Malone did dress with the varsity, he had to wait his turn behind players who were already starters.
Malone has started one game at tailback for Hinds and posted a 50-yard touchdown run in the contest. Altogether he has accumulated about two and a half games worth of playing time.
The Trinity native has the size (6-0, 187) and speed (4.40) to excel at running back, but the Tide coaches see him at corner on the college level. "I asked the Hinds coaches to move me to cornerback," Malone said. "But due to a shortage of running backs on the squad I'll stay there for now."
Starring for West Morgan high school, Malone was measured with a 36-inch vertical jump, bench pressed 245 pounds and squatted 400. The 13th rated "athlete" on PrepStar's list last season, Malone was a member of the Tuscaloosa News' Sweet 16.
Given his past struggles in the classroom, Malone has some ground to make up before qualifying for SEC competition. But he had a message for Tide fans.
"Just tell Alabama fans that I will be there to help them win that next national championship. Don't count me out!"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Including (but not limited to) his academic trouble, Malone probably faces than his share of obstacles to overcome to get to Alabama. But tall, physical cornerbacks are a precious commodity in college football, so he's obviously an athlete the Tide coaches are pulling for.