2014 Washington State recruiting target Josh Malone out of Station Camp High School in Gallatin, Tennessee is a 4-star recruit who has the ability to make all sorts of big time plays at any moment when he is on the field. Malone, a 6-2 190 pound receiver has attributes that help him stand out among the class as well as a few things that need work which will come with time and coaching.
When watching Malone’s highlight film I noticed quite a few good things that he can do. He has the ability to create separation down-field between him and the corner and go up and get the ball at its highest point when the corner is close to him. With the height advantage that he has as well as his leaping ability he is fully capable of making those catches that the Cougs have not been able to make in the games after Marquess Wilson left. The speed that Malone has is another addition to his ability on the field. Malone runs a 4.52 40-yard dash and has the speed to make beat the corner deep down the field as well as the ability to get past any congestion on the field.
With his height and size he is able to make a hit over the middle as well as take a hit and still fall forward gaining a few extra yards. That’s an attribute that can be the difference between a first down and a fourth and short. Malone is also a kick/punt returner in high school and is able to take a hit and stand up right away and move on to the next field. When watching him return kicks and punts I noticed that he gets up field without taking his time trying to find an open hole. And when he does find that open hole he has a fifth gear to get him past all the defenders.
Some things I noticed that Malone needs to work on is his speed off the line, route running, as well as staying low when running. When Malone comes off the line he is a little slow and allows the defenders to jam him and slow him down even more sometimes making it hard for him to beat them deep. Getting jammed off the line could also be why his route running could use a little help. When the ball is snapped and you are automatically hit and slowed down it could get his mind off of his route.
I also noticed that when running Malone stands tall and being as tall as he is it is going to be a lot easier for a defender to make a tackle. He also has a harder time making cuts and breaking tackles when standing tall while running. If he were to get lower while running, work on getting off the line quicker when the ball is snapped and work on running his routes Malone has the chance of becoming great receiver in the NCAA.
Washington State as of now has 17 receivers on the team and all but one have multiple years left to play. Bennett Bontemps is the only receiver on the team who is a senior going into this upcoming season and it looks as if Bontemps is trying to switch over to the defensive side of the ball to get more playing time.
I don’t see a freshman coming in and seeing much, if any playing time right away. I expect a new receiver to red-shirt his first year and learn the system that head coach Mike Leach is teaching as well as gaining a few more skills that will help him excel down the road.
Other schools that Malone is interested in include: LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, and others.
Below you will find the link to Malone’s Hudl film as well as his sophomore highlight tape.