Josh Malone, a consensus four-star wide receiver in the 2014 class, is one of the most coveted players at his position in the country. He has scholarship offers from numerous FBS programs, including Tennessee, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Michigan, USC and Notre Dame.
The Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp High School product is 6'3, weighs 190 pounds and has been clocked running a 4.49 40-yard dash. He had a tremendous 2013 season, catching 71 passes for 1,404 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 23 times for 227 yards. That effort earned him a spot in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
His highest recruiting ranking comes from Rivals, which considers him a five-star player and the No. 20 overall prospect in the country. ESPN, Scout and 247Sports all regard him as a four-star prospect, and all three services agree that he's one of the top 10 wide receivers in the nation.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Malone might be the best receiver recruit in the country. If he's not, he is most certainly on the short list. As with most elite prospects, Malone starts with a great combination of size and speed.
But while that would make him very coveted on its own, it's the other parts of his game that I got to see in Oregon at Nike's The Opening showcase, and during his senior season, that take him to the next level.
Malone can stride it out and when he opens it up, has very good deep speed. But his acceleration is better than I expected for a tall, leggy receiver. And that's big because it will allow him to be a more balanced receiver. When a defensive back must also respect a receiver's ability to run short and intermediate routes, it makes his deep routes all the more effective.
Malone is quite strong, and that strength is used both in breaking tackles, and in going up with nice vertical skills to snatch the football in contested catch situations. Because of this, Malone can be extremely valuable and explosive in a number of situations.