Pros and Cons to 4-Star WR Josh Malone's Final Schools
Josh Malone is a 4-star receiver from Tennessee who is one of the top offensive players in the South. At 6'2.5" and 190 pounds, Malone shows good quickness to release off the line. He has the speed to race upfield when running a route, and uses his size to shield defenders from the ball.
Malone has solid run-after-catch skills, and flashes adequate strength. He is a coveted prospect, but according to a report by Chad Simmons of Scout.com (subscription required), a group of four core schools are the favorites to land him.
Malone has a tough decision to make, as each program has its positives and negatives.
The Tigers are one of the best programs in the ACC. Head coach Dabo Swinney does a great job of looking after his players, and develops them on and off the field. The Clemson community has a small-town feel, and the football team receives great support.
The campus is said to be gorgeous, the program has a solid history of winning and the university offers a good academic experience. With Malone being a receiver, Clemson's chances are bolstered due to having a commitment from stud 4-star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Clemson is one of the better programs in the country, but it doesn't have as high of a profile as other schools on Malone's list. The road to a national championship is a slightly tougher one from Clemson.
From a football standpoint, Malone would get a chance to play with quarterback Jameis Winston, who is quickly becoming a legend in Tallahassee. Head coach Jimbo Fisher is an offensive-minded leader, so Malone would be properly used in the passing game.
FSU has a large fanbase, is a national powerhouse and has an amazing history of winning. Malone would be surrounded by great talent, win a lot of games in the ACC and play in several prominent bowls.
Not many cons come with picking the Seminoles. Some will point to them not being in the SEC, or the fact that Winston may be gone to the NFL after the 2014 season, but that's splitting hairs. FSU has recruited well recently, so early playing time will not come easy for Malone.
The Bulldogs are one of the top teams in the SEC. They are always in the hunt to get to the conference title game, play in a ton of big games and usually find themselves in a top-tier bowl game.
Head coach Mark Richt does a great job of running the program, cares about his players and UGA signs talented recruiting classes every February. Although quarterback Aaron Murray will be gone after this season, the 'Dawgs have several talented young passers waiting in the wings.
Georgia will need more firepower at the receiver position, so Malone could play as a true freshman.
Getting out of the SEC to the national title game is tough at Georgia, as the conference has several juggernaut programs.
Tennessee is the in-state program for Malone, as he would be less than three hours from home while living in Knoxville. He would also likely earn immediate playing time.
The Vols have an outstanding game-day atmosphere, great tradition and have been one of the more powerful programs in the SEC in the past. The fans adore the team, head coach Butch Jones has re-energized the mood of the program and is recruiting well for the Vols.
Malone would be able to play with talented players, like freshman receiver Marquez North, 5-star athlete Jalen Hurd and 4-star safety Todd Kelly. Being a part of Tennessee's return to elite status, while playing in front of family and friends could be special for Malone.
Tennessee may be a few seasons away from seriously competing for an SEC title. The Vols have fallen behind Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M in the SEC pecking order. Also, better quarterback options await Malone at other schools on his list.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Malone is featured on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. Use this interactive tool to track his recruitment, along with many other top recruits around the country!