August 26, 2009
Malone talks season opener, recruiting
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis (Tenn.) Mitchell wide receiver Keiwone Malone has a lot to live up to after last season. His team made it to the 3A state championship game and Malone piled up over 1,400 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns on 76 receptions.
On Saturday, Malone and his teammates served notice that even after moving up to the 5A classification they will be a force. They beat Memphis (Tenn.) Hillcrest 57-6 after mounting a 43-0 halftime lead and Malone did his part to live up to the hype. He had one 53-yard touchdown pass, one shorter touchdown grab and another one-handed two-point conversion catch.
"We wanted to come out on top and come out big but we really just wanted to work on our alignments and assignments and get our defense together," Malone said following the game. "I'm happy with the way I played but I wanted to get over 100 yards receiving today and I was 20 yards short."
Though Malone fell just short of his daily goal, he still has plenty of time to meet his personal and team goals for the season.
"Our team goal is 15 and what I mean by 15 is that we're trying to play 15 games this season and if we play 15 games that means we made it to the state championship," he said. "I want to beat every stat I had from last year and that's over 76 catches, over 1,450 yards and over 19 touchdowns."
That explosive junior season is the reason why Malone secured several early scholarship offers. He also made an early college decision by committing to Alabama in February. However, schools have continued to recruit him hard and as the fall approaches, Malone has a few other visits in mind along with his official to Tuscaloosa.
"I'm going to take a visit to Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and possibly Oregon," he said. "
Of the other programs recruiting Malone, Ole Miss is the one that has been pushing the hardest for a change of mind.
"I'm pretty solid with Alabama but as of right now, Ole Miss is knocking on the door so Alabama and Ole Miss, they're kind of the two right now," he said. "Ole Miss has Coach Nutt and Mississippi is my home state. With Alabama it's the program, Coach Saban, the fans and they turn all of their football players into great student athletes."
With the way Malone has kicked off his 2009 campaign, it is a safe bet that no team has plans on slowing down in their recruitment of the explosive receiver.
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