Malzone on Mr. Football, Move to Michigan

2015 Brother Rice (Mich.) quarterback Alex Malzone reacts to receiving the 2014 Mr. Football award, details his move to Ann Arbor, and why exactly he's sticking with Michigan despite not having a coach in place.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- 2015 Brother Rice (Mich.) four-star quarterback Alex Malzone is the 2014 Mr. Football.

“This is definitely a great achievement,” Malzone told Scout following a ceremony Tuesday. “I appreciate getting this award. I just want to thank my team and my coaches for all their support and all the help they gave me this past year and the last four years I’ve spent here.

“It’s just truly an honor to get Mr. Football with the people that have won it and also the other great players in the state of Michigan I feel like it could’ve gone a few different ways.”

Malzone finished his senior season with 38 touchdowns and just five interceptions, on his way to leading the Warriors to a 10-1 finish.

Although Brother Rice couldn’t close out their campaign for a fourth state championship in a row, losing to Warren (Mich.) De La Salle 26-21 in the regional playoff, Malzone’s performances against some of the top teams in the state and beyond were enough to earn the award.

Transitioning from a strong junior year to his senior season, Malzone says he felt more prepared as a quarterback on a weekly basis.

“I’d say just getting smarter and getting better prepared going into a game,” Malzone said. “It just really slows the game down and just having a better game plan going into a game, knowing what the defense is going to do and how to react when they decide to switch things up on you.

“I feel like I had free reign over the offense this year and I think we averaged 35 points a game. Obviously I had another guy that was great in Grant Perry because he really did some great things on the offensive side of the ball this year.”

Perry finished the year with 105 catches, 1,727-yards and 21 touchdowns.

“He was a great player and I hope we get to play with each other in the future,” Malzone said. “It’s not really up to me but we’ll see what happens with Grant. He worked really hard and we really go that connection down my sophomore season and just everything after that just kept getting better and better.

“We worked really hard in the off-season and even just the week of practices going into a game we got a game plan down and knew where I wanted to get him the ball and he pretty much did the rest.”

Malzone isn’t at Brother Rice much longer planning to be a midyear enrollee at the University of Michigan, actually moving to Ann Arbor Jan. 4 with classes starting just three days later.

Although the Wolverines are now without a head coach, firing Brady Hoke after four seasons, Malzone remains set in his plan.

“One thing that I really picked up on going into the recruiting process was to pick a school not a coach,” Malzone said. “Knowing how crazy the coaching carousel is and college coaches just going anywhere imaginable. I wanted to play for Coach Hoke very badly but obviously things didn’t work out between him and the program but I’m still just as excited to get up there and play for Michigan.

“I committed to the school and I’m going there to play football, get a great education and I’m going there in three weeks and couldn’t be more excited.”

Malzone isn’t one to give predictions or talk a whole lot off the field, more focused on beating foes on it, but there’s no doubt he and several other players/recruits plan to do everything possible to return Michigan near the top of the Big Ten conference.

“It’s going to be pretty special if we’re able to do that,” Malzone said. “I’ve seen Michigan football be great. I remember 2006 I was watching that No. 1 vs. No. 2 Michigan vs. Ohio State game and that was just cool to experience.

“Growing up I was watching Chad Henne and Mike Hart back when they were great and then I know Charles Woodson back in 1997, just the program that they’ve had and the amount of players that have come through and the great people the program produces. I’m just excited to get a chance to experience that and be a part of it.”

With the graduation of Devin Gardner, Michigan returns unproven talent at the quarterback position heading into 2015 with junior Shane Morris and redshirt freshman Wilton Speight.

Although a coach nor offensive coordinator is in place, Malzone is excited for the competition when he arrives on campus.

“It’s going to be open,” Malzone said. “I know a couple of quarterbacks on the team, great quarterbacks, great guys and I’ve gotten to know them both. With how the quarterback situation went this year it just seems like we’re all going to be together and the best guy will play depending on who the coach wants to play.

“I’m going in focused and just trying to offer the best I can whether I play next year or whether I play in two or three years, just everything I can do for the program.”

Malzone also plans to attend the Ross School of Business at Michigan.

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