Butch Jones continued to add to his ridiculous Tennessee recruiting class Wednesday as the Volunteers added four-star receiver Josh Malone, of Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp High School. Malone chose Tennessee over Georgia, Clemson and Florida State.
Ultimately, the decision came down to Tennessee and Clemson. Both schools are close to Malone's Tennessee home, both have young quarterbacks with whom Malone has bonded, and both have a history of putting receivers in the NFL.
Malone is an excellent prospect, and easily one of the best receivers in the country. At 6'3 and 195 pounds, Malone has excellent size. He also has good long speed, though he does take time to build to top speed. He also showed the ability to elevate and snatch the football at its highest point when I saw him at The Opening 2013 in Oregon. And Malone has improved his technical receiving skills a lot during his senior year.
Malone was a much needed addition to Jones' Tennessee class. The Volunteers have a lack off talent at receiver on the roster, and if Malone comes in and can quickly learn the playbook, he should be able to receive plenty of playing time.
Additionally, Tennessee had already lost commitments from four-star receivers Eric Lauderdale and Dominique Booth during the football season. Malone's instant-impact potential is a big deal in Knoxville.
Tennessee now has 33 commitments in the class of 2014, and 17 of them are rated four or five-stars.
Georgia and Clemson will be fine at the receiver position, by the way. Georgia already has Shakenneth Williams and Gilbert Johnson in its class, and Clemson has Artavis Scott and Demarre Kitt.
Malone is also notable for being one of the first recruits to sign a financial aid agreement under the new rules, which allows for schools to openly comment on and have unlimited contact with the recruit. Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia and Florida State all had the ability to comment and contact Malone. But the rule is a huge advantage for the home team, which can most frequently travel to see and contact a player, which Tennessee did.
Tennessee has an excellent chance to have a top-five recruiting class, which is a grand slam for Butch Jones in his first full year on Rocky Top.