Josh Malone out of Gallatin, Tenn., has seen his stock soar over the past few months as he has picked up offers from coast to coast. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound rising junior visited several of those schools over the past few weeks.
"I have been everywhere over the past month or so," Malone laughed and said when asked where all he has been. "My last visit was to Ole Miss, but I have
been to Tennessee, Vandy, Western Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan, Mississippi,
Mississippi State, and Baylor. All of those schools have offered me so I decided
to go check them out."
What was he wanting to learn about the schools before he arrived on the trips?
"I wanted to see how their academic structure is set up and what kind of
offense fits me the best."
What type of offense does Malone fit in best?
"I would say the pro-set but I am looking a little more into the spread too."
Malone's visit to Ole Miss was informative.
"They have a new academic person in charge, and he explained how many hours
of tutoring are required for their freshmen and the number of hours you have to
take each semester. If you take care of your responsibilities you will graduate
in three and half years. That way you can start working on your masters your senior
season. As far as their offense; they like to get you out in space and get the
ball in the playmakers' hands. It really is appealing."
What stood out the most about the Rebels during his first trip to Oxford?
"The coaches are like brotherhood. They are all so close and all on the same
page. I was just impressed with how close the coaches are and how they communicate
with one another. The trip opened my eyes to Ole Miss. It was better than I was
expecting. They impressed me. It was my first visit. I had always heard how beautiful
their campus was, and it was pretty. But when I got there I was surprised at how
nice their facilities were, and the rooms they have set up for their freshmen.
I learned a lot when I went down there. I plan on going back for sure."
The visit to Tennessee was also a hit.
"The Tennessee visit was nice. They have a good academic program set up.
They were very specific in what I want to major in - Business. The facilities were
what I was expecting because Tennessee has always been a big school. They even
added on to their stadium. They made it look even nicer. It was impressive. I
want to see how Tennessee does this year. I am interested to see which direction
they are going to go in."
What stood out about the Vols?
"I would probably have to go with their facilities. They are made for you,
if you take advantage of them, to improve your game. When I am looking for the
right school, I am looking at which offense I fit in best, coaches, academic set-up,
and wherever my parents feel comfortable. It's not too far for home so that is
pretty big for my parents."
Vandy is another instate school that is close to home.
"I would say the degree from Vandy sticks out the most to me about them.
It means a lot. It is more academically oriented than most colleges. They are
also adding on to their stadium and building a new field house. They are improving
their facilities, too."
Michigan jumped in the game for Josh and he made a visit as well.
"Trust me, the Michigan offer came to me as a surprise. I was happy when
it came. Just to see all of their tradition and how many good receivers that have
come out of that program was impressive. Their coaches also take their jobs very
Mississippi State's academics were impressive.
"I would have to say the highlight of my trip to State was seeing their Business
school. They are adding on to it, and they are very strict with their athletes'
grades. They take it serious and I appreciate that."
The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State stood out about the Buckeyes.
"I love how much they hate Michigan. The hatred they have for Michigan is
just unreal. That was the highlight of my trip. If you beat Michigan you get a
necklace and a ring. They take that game very seriously. I knew it was serious
but not that serious. OSU calls Michigan the game up North and Michigan calls
them Ohio. I think it is hilarious."
Anymore trips on the horizon?
"I plan on going back to Vandy and Tennessee before school starts back around.
Outside of that, I plan on waiting until the games start and then I will go catch
them in some games. I want to see what their gameday experience is like."
Who has offered?
"Michigan, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Vandy, and Ohio
State have offered me so far.
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org