Over the past year 2017 St. Joseph (Mich.) DE/LB Corey Malone-Hatcher emerged as one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the Midwest. It didn’t take long for Jim Harbaugh to realize that and turn up the heat in his own right. The new Michigan regime is off to a strong start in the relationship-building department.
“I like all of them,” Malone-Hatcher’s father said regarding Michigan’s coaching staff. “They’re just real cool. They’re intense. Some guys are intense, but can come across as buttholes. Then you have some guys who come across as intense, but you also know that they’re the ones that are going to have some fun. Being intense and having fun means that it won’t get old and it won’t get stale. That’s what comes to mind with me when I see those guys. I think when we were there Harbaugh spent 20-30 minutes with us. We had all the staff there with us. It got to the point where I was like, ‘shoot, maybe you guys need to go see some of the other kids.’ (Laughter). That’s just the feel. We’ve been at some other places and it is almost like corporate America. With (the Michigan coaches) I feel like they’re a good group of guys. They’re going to work hard, but they’re also going to have fun and that’s the vibe I get from them.”
That said, there are other coaches that have done so as well. Father & son plan to hit the road soon to see if even more can earn that distinction.
“He is at 11 offers, but I’ve talked to Coach Nussmeier a couple of times at Florida and I’ve also been in communication with Florida State,” Mr. Malone stated. “We’re actually supposed to visit both of them when we went on our southern swing to Gulf Shores, but after we left Alabama we didn’t visit, because we had some stuff come up. That slowed the process down, but both are coming up to the school to see them over this next evaluation period. I’m thinking those two will be the next two to drop. It’ll be one of those two or Rutgers will probably be next if I had to guess.”
“What I’ve told him to do is just enjoy the process and don’t get caught up in it. What I can tell is you that we do have some schools that are favorites and Michigan is definitely up there.”
At this point the talented youngster is thinking less about what school he favors and more about improving physically so he can take his game up a notch next season.
“He is at 245 and he is probably 6-3.5”,” Mr. Malone stated. “He’ll be all over. Basically we’ll stand him up on the edge, sometimes he’ll put his hand down, and sometimes we’ll put him right in the middle and let him just play football.”
“He’s softening to the 3-4 hybrid linebacker concept. Before, he hated playing linebacker, so he never really embraced trying to get the work in at that spot. But after playing it last year and then he met with Saban, that’s what he talked to (Corey) about. He said, ‘we want somebody that can step in and play with his hand down or drop into the flats and run with the tight end. ‘He’s either going to be a nine or a five and so that appeals for him. When Coach Durkin talked to him about playing like that, it appealed to him.”
“I think he’s just looking at it saying, ‘hey, I’m going to work hard, get my speed down.’ He broke into the 4.7s, so his speed is coming together. He’s just going to keep working hard and see what happens."