Josh Malone: A family decision

Josh Malone has not gone through the recruiting process alone. His parents have been right there with him taking everything in.

On Wednesday at 12pm CT Josh Malone will announce his college choice.

It will happen at Station Camp High School in Gallatin (Tenn.) in front of friends and most importantly, family.

The four-star wide receiver comes from a close-knit family and the mom, dad, and sister have been with the talented senior since the recruiting process started.

Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee are the four finalists and all four have had Malone on their campus at least twice and each school has had coaches in the Malone home over the past week.

Decision day is approaching and the mother is looking forward to it.

"I am grateful Josh is in this position and we are ready for him to make his decision," said Rebecca Malone. "Recruiting has been our life much of the past year, so it will be nice for it to end soon. We are excited about it all."

Only one school will get good news Wednesday afternoon. All four schools that are still being considered have done a good job recruiting the All-American and telling three schools no may be the toughest part.

"Josh is big on relationships and he does not like to tell anyone no about anything. He has relationships with coaches from each school and he is going to have to tell three schools no, that will be hard for him. He has to do it and he knows that, but that will not be easy for him."

Will the school that he says yes to be the school that is only two and a half hours from home? The University of Tennessee is the school closest to home and location could play into the decision, but there is more to it than that.

"Josh has been keeping a journal from the beginning and that is so important now. After every visit, Josh would go to his journal and write about each conversation, how the visit was, and all of the important things so we could look at it now.

"The information in the journal is invaluable and it is helping us a lot. We can sift through the journal to look back on different visits and different conversations along the way.

"He is going to college to reach his football goals, to get a great degree, to get where he wants to go in life, and he will choose the school he could see himself at without football in the equation.

"A lot will be thought about and discussed to come up with the decision."

The decision will not fall squarely on Josh's shoulders either. It will be a decision made by all who have gone through the recruiting process with him.

"This is truly a family decision," said Mrs. Malone. "It is something my husband and I have discussed on our own and we will discuss with Josh soon.

"Josh has his own thoughts and we have ours. We will be sitting down, bouncing things off of each other, breaking everything down on each school, and go from there.

"I am sure we will all agree on some things and disagree on other things. We all see things differently at times and each visit things have changed for us too.

"At the end of this, we want Josh to come to us with his choice and then we discuss it. We are not going to him with our choice, he will come to us."

That will likely happen soon, very soon.

FSU and Georgia along with Tennessee spent time with the Malone's last week and Clemson will be in Gallatin tonight. That is likely the final visit and the decision will likely be made shortly thereafter.

"Josh is announcing his decision Wednesday and I want him to be relaxed and not worried about it on Tuesday, so we plan to have the decision made Monday night.

"Josh is a real thinker and he has a lot to think about, but we want to have it overwith soon. He analyzes everything, he weighs the past, the present, and the future, and we want him to not be worried about this on Tuesday.

"The visits will be behind us and we will know what school he will be attending."

The top 2014 prospect in Tennessee is mature beyond his age and he has played things very close to the vest. He knows all the right things to say, his answers are well thought out, and the eyes other than his own will help come to the final decision.

The mom has seen and heard it all over the past few months. It helped some schools and it could have hurt some too.

"Of course it is nice to hear nice things about your son, but many coaches said the same things. The coaches said 'we want Josh and we need Josh' and I believed some and I didn't believe some.

"I believe some coaches and schools really need Josh and I believe some really want Josh. Those are different things and Josh recognizes that some, but me, my husband, and Josh's sister see those things too.

"Josh may be seeing or hearing one things and we may be hearing something different. We all paid close attention on the visits, when coaches talked to us, and we all gathered our thoughts throughout the process."

Those thoughts will all come together over the next 48 hours and those will lead to verbal commitment. Malone will enroll at the school of his choice in January after graduating high school early.

The recruiting process weighs on many, some may say things they regret along the way, but the way this student-athlete has handled it has been impressive.

He is on the reserved side and the mother is happy with Josh's performance off the field.

"He really regulated things and it limited the stress, the interviews, and the craziness that can happen," said the mother. "Him not being on social media cut off a lot. He is not on Twitter, he is not on Facebook, we didn't open his voicemail so he wouldn't get left messages, and that all helped.

"If Josh saw a message on Facebook or had a message on his phone, he would feel obligated to respond or to call back. That is just the kid he is, so him not having that has helped him stay focused and not having to worry with things many others do.

"It has allowed him to kind of go through this quietly and he will be ready to make a smart decision."

Malone is the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee, the No. 10 wide receiver, and the No. 69 overall prospect in the country. Top Stories