Tywone Malone may be sticking with the new UM tradition. While being the number one football player in New Jersey, he has also been making moves on the baseball field and is currently being recruited for both sports at UM.
In a world where the tendency for sports favors focusing on one sport at a young age, John Rhys Plumlee has made a very strong case that he can play two sports at the collegiate level, and Malone is doing the same.
The 6’3” 300-pound, 4-star defensive tackle is the answer to the question: what if former Redsox slugger David Ortiz put on an extra 70 pounds and played football?
Malone’s rise through the football ranking boards has been well documented, but his play on the diamond has not. Thus, The Daily Mississippian decided to sit down with those who have closely followed Malone’s rise on the baseball diamond.
Ray Teodora, a northeast area scout for New York Metro Scout for high school baseball, basketball and football, said he has hopes for Malone to eventually make the MLB draft.
“At the plate, he is quite imposing and is a man amongst boys. He has the ability to crush an FB a mile and if he turns on a CB/CH he will be devastating in the 4/5 hole,” Teodora said. “He is a beast, and I envision him making it to the pros in either sport if he so chooses.”
Matt Sandles, the recruiting director for DBacks Elite, agreed. Sandles is responsible for finding players for the travel baseball and softball organization based out of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and has seen Malone develop his skills over the past year.
“He has really developed at the plate. His discipline has become a lot better and he is more than willing to take a walk,” Sandles said. “In 22 games this summer, he leads the team in hits, home runs and RBIs, even though he has missed 9 games.”
According to Sandles, Malone is at the top of his team in almost every category of statistics.
“He moves exceptionally well for his size, and he has the capability to steal bases and leg out doubles,” Sandles said.
When it comes to Malone’s possible recruitment to Ole Miss, not a lot of information is available. Ole Miss may have an advantage over some of his other top 14 schools that he named in May of this year, including other SEC schools like Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia and Alabama, but UM already has two double-sport stars.
Jerrion Ealy and John Rhys Plumlee play baseball and football for the rebels, and have had a decent amount of success at both sports. Both were named to the freshman All-American football team last year and competed for playing time in the outfield on an Ole Miss baseball team that looked destiney for a run at the college world series title.
Although there has been much recent success for two-sport athletes, Malone is cut from a different cloth. For the most part, the dual-sport athletes of yesteryear were slimmer guys with the pure athleticism to carry them in more than one sport. When it comes to Malone, though, he has to work on his skills, and for the most part, he is carried by his size.
With this disjointed recruiting season, many schools, including Ole Miss, are looking to see where he commits. Malone has expressed interest in playing both sports at the collegiate level, and his list only includes schools that have both baseball and football. He even cut schools likeSyracuse that do not field a baseball team.
“It’s going to be challenging,” Malone said in an interview with 247 sports. “All these schools are great schools and great people. It will come down to who I feel more comfortable with and who can give me the best of both worlds from a baseball and football perspective.”