Josh Malone was a ballyhooed prospect far earlier than many of the other elite prospects that made their way to San Antonio, TX for at last week’s Army All American combine. That means that he has dealing with great expectations for longer too. As a matter of fact, the expectations he had for himself were even greater. The mild disappointment he feels regarding his junior campaign stems from not quite meeting that personal standard.
“This year was kind of rough,” Malone said. “There was a young quarterback this year, so first I started a little slow, but then started picking back up at the end. Overall we made the playoffs and got knocked out in the first round.”
That experience left him even more determined than ever to take his game to the next level. So when he made arrived in the Lone Star State last Friday, he was ready to take care of business.
“I did well in all the events and I felt like I had a good day,” Malone said confidently. “In the forty I ran a 4.6, my shuttle was a 4.1, and my vertical was a 31.5.”
When the dust settled his talents had shone brightly enough to further validate the spot he had already earned in the 2014 Army All American game. It also further proved why he has picked up offers from 14 programs, including Notre Dame, Ohio State Michigan, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. Brady Hoke & company have been hot on his trail since last spring when they jumped definitively into the fray with a scholarship.
“They keep telling me how interested they are in me and that they want me to be a Wolverine,” Malone stated. “They were there the last recruiting period. They come by every recruiting period.”
The point man in Michigan’s courtship of the Volunteer State star is linebackers coach, Mark Smith. The veteran assistant has put the Wolverines on solid early footing in Malone’s recruitment.
“He is a good guy,” the 6-2, 190-pounder stated. “We have good conversations and stuff, so it’s a good relationship. He wants me to come up to the Big House. I went there during the summer. It was a nice place. That was some clean air up there to tell you the truth. I hopped out the car and took a big nose full (laughter). It was a good experience up there.”
With a wide open outlook on his recruitment, more visits are going to be key in forming his leaderboard. He hopes to get an up close view of of as many of his suitors as possible before narrowing down his list.
“I probably am going to make some visits in the spring,” said Malone. “Right now we haven’t set anything up. I’ll definitely probably get back up to Michigan soon.”
When he makes it to Ann Arbor – and any other campus for that matter – there are two main criteria he’ll devote the greatest amount of attention to.
“Probably mostly academics and where I can get some early (playing time) at,” he said.