August 13, 2009

Malone ready to dominate again

The ink wasn't dry yet on the letters of intent from the class of 2009 when Keiwone Malone became the first player to commit to Alabama for the class of 2010. The Memphis star established himself as one of the elite high school receivers in the nation with back-to-back seasons with at least 1,200 yards receiving and Malone spent this off-season working to become an even more dominant player.

"I worked really hard on improving my strength and my speed this summer," said Malone, who reported to practice at 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds. "I posted a 4.42 forty time when we started practice and I know I've improved my strength as well."

Malone, ranked the nation's No. 42 receiver, was a huge part of Mitchell High School's offensive attack, scoring 19 touchdowns and averaging nearly 20 yards per catch.

"Whenever we need a big play, my team knows they can count on me. Whatever it is going to take to help us win, I'm willing to step up and do it. I feel confident in my abilities as a an all-around type receiver who can do everything you need a big play receiver to do. I can beat the defense deep, I can get in there and be physical when I need to be and I'm not afraid to take a hit in the middle of the field. I'm out there to help my team, not to make myself look good."

"We've been practicing the Wildcat a little bit, which should be exciting. It's just another opportunity for me to help my team so hopefully I can make some plays that way as well."

Mitchell opens their season next week against Hillcrest and Malone said he and his teammates have high expectations for themselves in 2009.

"Our team goal is two win 15 games this year, which is how many it would take to go undefeated and win state. We believe it's possible for us if we work hard and we aren't going to settle for anything less."

Meanwhile, Malone is planning a busy fall in which he'll take all five of his allotted official visits as well as participate in at least one all-star game.

"I haven't set dates yet but I'll be taking all five of my official visits this fall. I'm going to Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and one more school that I haven't picked yet. I'm still definitely committed to Alabama. I just want to take advantage of this opportunity that I'll only ever have once in my life and really make the most of it. After that, I'll be playing in the Army All-American game so I'm pretty excited about that as well."

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