Redshirt Freshman OL Malone Ready To Go

Mississippi State redshirt freshman offensive guard Justin Malone is relatively new to the game of football.

  • Name: Justin Malone
  • Classification: Redshirt Freshman
  • Position: Offensive Guard
  • HT-WT: 6-foot-7, 315

  • Malone, who transferred from Northwest Rankin High School to Madison-Ridgeland Academy his 9th grade year, first played football as a 10th grader but decided it wasn't for him. After not playing at all his 11th grade year, he decided to give football another shot and went out for the team his senior season of high school. His head coach had him sit out the first three games while earning his spot on the team.

    Despite having a college body and great athleticism, he wasn't highly recruited his senior season, mainly due to lack of football experience and lack of exposure.

    Initially, Alcorn State was the only college showing serious interest in him. Then, Mississippi State jumped into the picture after watching a few games and decided to offer. He quickly accepted the offer and signed in February, 2011.

    Obviously, the lack of football playing experience hurt him when he first got to Mississippi State. But he worked hard during his redshirt freshman season and off-season in an attempt to catch up to his more experienced teammates.

    "When I first got here I didn't really have a football background," said Malone, who is currently listed as the backup to senior Tobias Smith at right guard. "Since then, I have come pretty far."

    Coming into this season, Malone is not sure what his role will be on the team.

    "I'm not really sure what I will be doing the first game," said the talented youngster. "I'll just do whatever they want me to do. If I have to go in there for a PAT, I'll go in for that. If I have to go in and play on the line, then I'll do that. Whatever it takes to help the team win is what I'll do."

    He's also doing what he can to help the next wave of freshmen offensive linemen adjust to the rigors of the college game and college life in general.

    "You sit down and talk to them and try to help keep them grounded," he said. "Even with us (last year's freshmen), we wanted to go home because it was hard. We tell them it's going to be hard. Everywhere in the country is going to be hard."

    A member of an offensive line that has just one senior in the two-deep depth chart, Malone has liked what he has seen from the line overall.

    "As an offensive line, we are coming along," said the 6-foot-7, 315-pounder. "I think we have what it takes to win and achieve our goals. There are a lot of things that we still have to work on but every offensive line has things it needs to work on. Nobody is perfect."

    While the offensive line is still relatively young with Malone and five sophomores in the two-deep depth chart, a junior college newcomer is a player that has really caught Malone's eye.

    "It's really hard to say who will surprise people because everybody is working really hard, (but I think) somebody that is going to surprise people is Charles Siddoway," said Malone. "He is quick, agile. He's not just a big body. He's an athletic big body who can move and run. And he takes coaching well because he's always willing to get better."

    Malone and his teammates begin their season this Saturday night at home against Jackson State with a start time of 6 pm.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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