Commentary

Malone continues the tradition

For the fourth year in a row, a wide receiver is No. 1 in the state of Tennessee

Originally Published: October 27, 2009
By Billy Tucker | Scouts Inc.
Tennessee continues to see its recruiting stock rise, particularly in the Memphis area. Its top-end talent, featuring six four-star prospects and three ESPNU 150 members, can compete with many of its neighboring Southeastern states in the 2010 recruiting cycle, excluding hotbeds such as Georgia.

The Volunteer State has good speed and elite talent at the wide receiver position in this recruiting cycle. Following in the footsteps of 2009 receiver Marlon Brown (Georgia), speedy wideout Keiwone Malone (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) holds down the top spot in the state's rankings. However, Tennessee may be best represented by its high-upside linebackers and pass-rushers in 2010.

LSU commit defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Maclin (Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway) brings a coveted blend of size, speed and range to Baton Rouge. Jacques Smith (Ooltewah, Tenn./Ooltewah) falls into that same hybrid outside linebacker category, and like Maclin, he has a long wingspan, is quick off the snap and can bring it off the edge. Fred Harvey (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) and Cortez Bowen (Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant) are more true outside linebackers but similarly disruptive and difficult to block on the perimeter. Jonathan Brown (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers) is the No. 11 middle linebacker in the country and is explosive and underrated.


For a look at the top player in Tennessee, a name to remember who might not be the highest-rated prospect and the programs doing the best job of recruiting this year, become an ESPN Insider. Insider

Billy Tucker

Scouts, Football Recruiting
• Recruiting coordinator for ESPN RecruitingNation.
• Nearly a decade of college coaching experience.
• Was recruiting coordinator at nationally-ranked Division II colleges.