Just about everyone that follows recruiting on a national level is familiar with four-star wide receiver Josh Malone out of Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp. But there’s another Malone out of Station Camp that is starting to garner some attention of his own.
Tre Malone was one of the top performers at the Station Camp-Oakland scrimmage.
Linebacker Tre Malone is the cousin of Josh and he’s beginning to emerge as one of the state of Tennessee’s best linebackers for the class of 2015. At 6-2, 230 pounds, Malone has already been racking up tackles in the pre-season and he’s got an opportunity to make a name for himself early in his junior year.
On Sunday, in front of an ESPN national television audience, Malone and his teammates square off against Tennessee commit and five-star Jalen Hurd of Beech High School. Malone knows that it’s an opportunity to put himself on the map.
“I’m really excited about this one,” Malone said. “I don’t look at it as playing [Hurd]. I look at it as playing a team because one man can’t make a team. He’s a big name but I think we can handle it. I think that’d be a big point in making my name and putting my name out there would be stopping him.”
While Malone will be on the hunt for Hurd on Sunday, he wouldn’t mind playing alongside him in the future. The five-star back is committed to Tennessee and the Vols are one of the early programs to express interest in Malone. Initially there wasn’t much return interest from Malone in Tennessee but things have changed of late.
“I’ve visited Tennessee four or five times,” he said. “The first couple of times I went up there, Coach (Derek) Dooley was up there. I see a big difference between then when I went up there and with the new coaching staff up there. It’s a big improvement. The last time I went it was sort of dull and now the new staff has picked it up and seems to have an up tempo about them.
“Tennessee has always been there. It’s a hometown school. I always gotta watch out for them and root for them.”
But Tennessee is also gaining some competition from within the state as Vanderbilt continues to emerge, particularly as an option for mid-state recruits. Already Malone has taken an unofficial visit to Vanderbilt but hopes to hear even more and identified the Commodores as a program that he has a definite interest in, particularly since the commitment of workout partner Emmanuel Smith.
“I just like the whole program itself and Coach (James) Franklin,” he said. “They’re on the rise and my friend Emmanuel Smith, he talks good things about them and I like the education they have there and the good things you can accomplish after football.”
Still waiting on his first offer, a big junior season will be crucial for Malone to rise on the radar.
“This year I’m just trying to work to be a sideline to sideline player, playing the whole field instead of just my position, being more active around the ball and hopefully winning state.”