All Alex Malzone had done every year of his high school before his last one was win a championship. As a matter of fact when asked to describe his game he would often sum it up in one word: “winner.” And even though his prep career ended on an unfamiliar note a few weeks ago, the one word description still applies.
“It was tough losing that last game but we definitely had a great run,” Malzone said regarding his team’s 26-21 loss to Warren De La Salle in the third round of the state playoffs. “Three state championship rings is definitely a great memory to have. And then my junior and senior year going 25-1 was definitely a great memory. Brother Rice was definitely a great place for me.”
When he committed to Michigan last spring he did so with visions of having similar success. Based on how things have unfolded on the field for the Maize & Blue this year that dream seems unrealistic, and yet Malzone still has a positive outlook.
“It’s pretty disappointing to see the season that they’re having, but I like the effort that they’re putting in (and) I feel like the coaches are working their tails off,” he said. “A lot of people don’t see the youth that the team has. I know they have one senior on offense, and that’s Devin Gardner, so there’s definitely a lot of youth. I’ve talked to a lot of players in the program that are going to be there the next couple of years and I’m just very excited to join the program and get up there in a about a month. Once I step on campus I definitely want to make a big impact.”
That degree of certainty about the future is uncommon in the face of the uncertain status of the coaching staff, but with help from his family Malzone recently came to terms with looking past that.
“I definitely want to play for Coach Hoke and Coach Nussmeier,” he insisted. “Those are the two guys that I’m closest with. I’ve gotten to know pretty much every single part of the staff. If things don’t work out between Michigan and Coach Hoke, I’m still going to Michigan no matter what. I’ve talked it over with my parents and I’ve always admired Michigan football, and I feel like it’s definitely the right place to be for me. I couldn’t be more excited to get up there in a month.”
Malzone hopes that his firm status will help preserve the remaining commitments in a class that has lost some notable members in recent weeks. He also hopes he can help lure at least one of those decommits back into the fold.
“I feel like we definitely have some solid commitments where no matter what happens guys are going to stay,” Malzone stated. “I feel like Grant Newsome is like that. Jon Runyan, Andrew David, Brian Cole. A couple of other guys… Tyree (Kinnel) and Chris Clark, if things change I can see some things changing for them. I know Chris is taking visits. Tyree hasn’t taken any visits yet, but I can definitely see him taking some visits. But with me and those four other guys I don’t really see too much changing. Obviously our commitments have taken a little hit during this season, but I feel like everyone will see the opportunity to play Michigan football and I feel like our commits will definitely start to shoot up in the near future.”
“I haven’t really talked to (Mike Weber) too much about what happened with his decommitment. That was the guy I was probably closest with and that was definitely tough to see. But he has got to do what’s best for him and I’m going to try to talk to him in the near future. I feel like Michigan is definitely still going to have a great shot with him. He just needs to take some time and think about what’s best for him.”