Malcome Keeps The Positive Vibe

ATHENS – At a running back position full of nearly every story angle, Ken Malcome is doing well to carve his own niche.

The redshirt freshman is currently taking reps in practice alongside one senior (Caleb King), two juniors (Washaun Ealey, Carlton Thomas); knowing that Isaiah Crowell, the much-heralded incoming tailback from Columbus, will enter the running back race this summer.

Malcome says the congested atmosphere in the backfield meeting room suits him fine. He's 6-foot, 225-pounds, while the description of his game reeks of power and brute strength.

Georgia doesn't have anybody else quite like Malcome, which is a positive according to him.

"Since we have a crowded backfield I think (running backs) coach (Bryan McClendon) wants to use us in every aspect of the game—as me downhill and running inside and other people as running sideways and shaking and stuff like that," Malcome said.

Put simply, Malcome is a guy who can potentially cash in the tough yards; going through opponents instead of around. He's OK with being tagged a bruiser, but he wants people to know that he's working to round his game out.

"I think in the next couple of years I'll be an every down back. I'll be ready to take that on," he said.

Either because of his rugged running style or just plain bad luck, Malcome's red flag has been a tendency to be hampered by some sort of injury or another. He suffered a concussion last season and also battled groin and ankle injuries—both of the nagging kind of pain.

He claims he can't remember the last time he was truly healthy, dating back to high school, where he fought through knee injuries, an ankle sprain and even a broken collarbone.

This spring, the groin has been an ongoing issue.

"It's been hurting a lot," Malcome said "…I hurt it last year, but I didn't hurt it bad so I still practiced. It felt good when spring started, but once I started running more and more, having gotten treatment on it I just kept pulling and pulling. I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I just had to sit out."

"I think in his mind, he knows he's not full speed, and he thinks if he's not practicing full speed we may be looking at that and thinking that's all he's got," said coach Mark Richt. "But, even if a guy is not 100 percent, you can still get in there and learn what to do and get better. But he's not 100 percent."

Malcome says he doesn't want to be classified as "injury-prone." But he quickly adds he doesn't get discouraged when he reads reports about his health.

"People are going to talk what they want," he said. "If football was easy, everybody would play it. I just tell myself a quote my grandfathers told me: ‘Never let in what people say because they don't know what's going on.'"

Despite the injuries and all the competition for playing time, Malcome always answers questions in an upbeat tone. His current stated goal is short and simple

"I just try to stay focused on the field," he said. "I have to stay focused."

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