May 16, 2009

Malcome, Stripling strut their stuff

DECATUR - Running back Kendrun Malcome had his day end early during SW Dekalb's first full-pad scrimmage of the spring Friday afternoon.

The rising senior became ill, regurgitating during the first half and did not return.

But when he was in, the 6-foot, 210-pounder showed why he's one of the state's top prospects and why schools from all over the country are lining to secure his signature.
In just three carries, Malcome picked up 114 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown.

"I wasn't expecting a long run that early in the game," Malcome said. "But I was real excited to have it. As soon as I scored, I was ready to go back in."

Malcome wasn't the only SW Dekalb player on display Friday. Defensive end T.J. Stripling and cornerback Jonathan Mincy are two other Panthers, who like Malcome, already have a significant number of offers from which to choose.

Based on the coaches who were also on hand, that should come as no surprise.

Among those attending the scrimmage included Georgia's Rodney Garner and Bryan McClendon, along with Tennessee's Ed Orgeron and a coach from Mississippi State.

Malcome and Stripling both have offers from the Bulldogs, although neither said Friday that they are anywhere close to making any kind of decision.

"I'm wide open. Coach Godfrey (SW Dekalb coach Buck Godfrey) tells us never to commit early, and to graduate," Malcome said.

Stripling agreed, but hinted that Florida may have an early upper hand.

"I don't know, I'm not going to say anything right now," Stripling said of Florida. "But it could be."

At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Stripling showed good quickness and excellent athletic ability while splitting time between defensive end and tight end.

On this day, Stripling was not the dominant presence on defense that he showed last fall. The affable player said that was due partly to his going both ways.

"It's not easy, but there are some spots where we don't have a lot of depth," Stripling said. "I just had to suck it up."

Of Stripling's offers, four are from SEC schools - Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn, with Florida expected to soon be the fifth.

Malcome's offer list currently stands at 10, but more are most certainly on their way.

Like Stripling, Malcome also counts offers from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, with Oklahoma and Wisconsin also after the young powerhouse.

Malcome showed those watching that he can indeed do it all.

On his first carry, Malcome broke through four would-be tacklers to pick up four tough yards. During his 80-yard jaunt, he followed right guard, cut to his right before breaking to the outside, out-running the rest of the defense until finally reaching the end zone.

"It was just a scrimmage, but it was good to get some work," Malcome said. "It still wasn't the same as a normal game. I knew who would hit me and who weren't going to hit me. I was glad to get the work, though."

The fact that so many coaches were there to watch him perform didn't bother Malcome in the least.

"I just try to go out and do my thing," Malcome said. "It's not really something you think about."

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