There was a big defensive tackle from the recruiting Class of 2018 on the MSU campus just a couple of weeks ago. He’s 6’2” and 290 pounds. He hails from Bolingbrook, IL. Although he doesn’t have a Michigan State offer yet, the Spartans are interested in him, and vice versa. Let’s meet Dashaun Mallory.
“I actually love Michigan State,” Mallory told Spartan Nation. “They’ve been a good school for me. I’ve watched them on TV for a while now, so I like the program and they’re familiar.”
“I actually loved the experience,” Dashaun said of his visit to East Lansing. “The coaches were very welcoming, very opening. The facility was great. I just loved the chemistry everyone brought there at that time.”
Mallory said he visited the campus 2-3 weeks ago, the day prior to the Spartans basketball game against Michigan. He has intentions to make another trip to MSU soon for either another Junior Day or to watch another practice, although he admits he hopes to stand a little closer to the action the next time around.
Dashaun said he mostly hears from Defensive Line Coach, Ron Burton. “Ron is pretty hilarious. I really like the guy…he’s very enjoyable. He’s a high-emotive guy. He wants the best for you. He brings a lot of “hype” to the table."
On the field, Mallory is considered a “disrupter” – a player that just simply makes life miserable for the offensive on the other side of the line of scrimmage. If you’re looking for a player comparison, try 11-year NFL veteran, Haloti Ngata. In his 11 years in the league with the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions, Ngata, the 12th-overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Ravens, has 29.5 career sacks and 308 career tackles.
“I actually think my game resembles his a lot,” Dashaun admitted. “We do similar things – go to the run, we’re both very disruptive.”
Off the field, Mallory is a completely different person. He’s warm and friendly, and can probably be found listening to music and…singing (or at least attempting to)!
“I have my headphones in a lot, so you may catch me singing a lyric here and there. I may get into it a little bit. Sometimes I think it’s in my head, but obviously I let it out a little bit,” he said.
As for whether or not he’s a good singer, Dashaun joked, “Nah - I put on a show for them on Fridays…that’s what I do!”
Perhaps more important than football and music for Dashaun is his family.
“My sister is in college right now as a junior. That’s something my mom preaches heavily on us. I’m the middle child, so it’s my turn to go to college. We really believe that we have a better chance of being successful with a degree behind us than athletically.”
He even joked that he fears his mom Donna more than his coach, even though they’re both intimidating. “Only because I see her at home and not in the weight room,” Dashaun said with a laugh.
But school is tremendously important to Mallory…not because it allows him to play football, but because it gives him an education.
“It runs in my family and we take that very seriously,” he explained. I know if I have a successful season at Michigan State, or whatever school I attend, I will do four years, I will graduate college. If I’m healthy enough to enter the [NFL] Draft, I will finish four years of college and get a degree.”
And he’s even able to envision what will be going through his head five years down the road when he walks across that stage at graduation, accepts his diploma, and hands it to his mom.
“That I listened and I made it,” Dashaun said. “I’ve accomplished one thing that she’s always preached about us having, and I know that would make her happy, as well as me.”
For Dashaun, “making it” is about getting a degree…not just making the NFL.
But Michigan State is a place where he can possibly attain both. For now, though, the first step is waiting to see if an offer comes through.
Regardless, for both the Spartans and Dashaun Mallory, perhaps this one statement matters most…
“Michigan State is a school I can see myself playing at,” Mallory said.