Ryheem Malone was one of the last additions to SMU’s Class of 2014 when he received an offer in January and committed shortly after. The wide receiver roster status was uncertain for a while, but he got some welcomed news this summer from SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips.
“Coach Phillips told me he wanted me to come and play, so I was expecting to be on the roster and to play,” Malone said. “He said it to me without actually saying it. I was excited and happy. It’s a blessing to finally be on a college roster. It makes me want to work harder.”
“(Coach Phillips) was telling me to come in and expect to have to work hard, make big plays and study film,” Malone said. “I’ve been doing a lot of running so I can come in as a good speed guy.”
Malone said that he was already on the roster when SMU announced that three players, including running back Rishaad Wimbley, had left the team. Malone said it was an expected move, but said he did not know what opened a spot for him.
Malone, who played his high school ball at Houston’s Bellaire High School, has played receiver and running back, but he says he will primarily play slot receiver for the Mustangs and model himself after one of college football’s most successful slot receivers.
“I feel like I can be Tavon Austin for SMU,” Malone told PonyStampede when he committed. “I can bring leadership and play a big role.”
Upon his decommitment from Texas State, a few schools showed interest in Malone before he chose SMU. North Texas gave him an offer, and New Mexico and Oregon State showed some interest. Malone is 5-foot-9 and weighs 175 pounds.