College football recruiting is a funny business.
Coaches are extremely invested in high school players. They spend an inordinate amount of time recruiting and speaking with high school recruits.
But if you didn’t know any better, you’d think the coaches didn’t even know these high school players existed.
Coaches aren’t allowed to speak about prospective student athletes to the media, which seems odd considering how much time they spend with these kids.
When signing day comes it seems even more odd when the coaches can suddenly talk about these guys like they’ve known them for years.
Of course it shouldn’t be weird at all, because in most cases they have known the player for years.
That’s a why a new NCAA rule that allows players who have signed financial aid agreements with a school to then be mentioned by the school has really thrown folks for a loop.
Not many coaches have exploited this too much, but Georgia’s Mark Richt used it to his advantage on Tuesday to publicly comment on a player that Tennessee and Georgia are fighting for — four star wide-receiver Josh Malone.
From The Telegraph:
“I think the guy’s a dynamic player. I really do,” Richt said. “I think he’s a guy that could come in as a freshman and make a difference, especially if he comes in at the mid-year, which I think is his plan for wherever he goes. Yeah, I think the guy, with the knowledge he would gain in the spring and through the summer, and have a guy like Chris Conley to mentor him, he could take advantage of his skill sets, which I think are outstanding. Great speed, great height, snatches the ball well. He’s a very sharp kid. Great family.
“We’d love to have him here.”
Richt is correct — Malone is a dynamic player. One that Tennessee desperately needs.
Malone, a native of Gallatin, TN, appears to be making his decision between Georgia and Florida, although some believe that Clemson and Florida State are still very much in the mix as well.
The four-star receiver is 6’2″/190 and runs the 40 in 4.49 seconds.
That’s the kind of speed that Tennessee has been missing this year. He’d definitely make an immediate impact with the Vols and would complement Marquez North extremely well.
The Vols already have a couple of impressive wide receivers committed to their 2014 class.
Four-star wide receivers Dominique Booth and Lavon Pearson have both committed to Tennessee and both are highly rated guys.
Neiko Creamer, a 6’4″ three-star wide receiver, is also committed to Tennessee.
Josh Malone would be the icing on the cake for the Vols and would quickly help to restore the tradition of Wide Receiver U at Tennessee.
It’ll be interesting to see if Butch Jones comments publicly on Malone in the near future.
Malone seems to be taking his recruitment very seriously and very slowly, so I doubt a public comment will sway his decision in any way, but as a college football coach you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.
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