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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get to Know: Ken Malcome

It's been a few weeks since we last checked in with any of Georgia's incoming freshmen, so I figured it was time to get back into our "Get to Know" series. Next up: Running back Ken Malcome.

Malcolme played at Southwest Dekalb and was one of the top running backs recruited in the state. And while Malcome has earned comparisons to some impressive players on the field, it turns out he actually has quite a bit in common with another former Bulldog off the field. Read on for more details...

David Hale: I know you're an Atlanta-area guy. Did you grow up wanting to play at Georgia, or what was it that convinced you that UGA was the place for you?

Ken Malcome:
I'm a Georgia boy. I grew up loving Georgia because it's my home state. I had a cousin play at Georgia a while back. He played fullback -- Patrick Pass. I've bled Georgia for a long time now. But another reason was, once I met the coaches, I got a lot of chemistry with them and the football players, and that made me want to be a Georgia Bulldog right there.

DH: I know there are a handful of guys at Georgia with relatives who played in the NFL. What's that like for you having a cousin who played at Georgia and went on to play at the next level beyond that, too?

It feels good. I don't feel a lot of pressure, because nobody pushed me to be just like him. I'm my own person. But it's good having a good role model, and I can always say, 'My cousin played at Georgia, how about your cousin?' So that's a good thing.

DH: You mentioned the chemistry you had with the coaching staff at Georgia. Your position coach, Bryan McClendon, is only a handful of years older than you, and he was playing at Georgia just five years ago. Does it help having a coach like that who went through all the transitions you're about to undergo so recently?

He gets it. He's around 25 or 26 and he's not too far from us, so he can relate. He just knows what it's like because he played the game just a little while ago, and nothing's really changed. The chemistry we have, it's like a brother and brother. We can talk, I can text him any time I have a problem or a question about football. He'll call me right back. It's like a brother thing with Coach McClendon.

DH: Have you had a chance to get to know the other running backs -- Caleb King and Washaun Ealey -- too?

I actually did. I met Washaun during the summer his freshman year. Washaun has been real cool. Afterward I met Caleb about a month later, and we hit it off. We're from the same town, from Atlanta, so we have a lot in common. He tells me to get ready to ball, that it's a grind every day and just to listen to what the coaches are telling us and be focused. That's most important.

DH: Last year, Washaun came in under similar circumstances to you, with a crowded backfield and not much playing time available. In fact, he didn't even play in the first four games of the year, but he ended up leading the team in rushing. Does that give you some hope for this season that, even if things don't get off to a great start, there's a chance you could still make an impact this season?

Oh yeah. Even if Caleb King and Washaun have their spots, I'll come in and I'm trying to earn a starting position, even though I probably can't. I'm still going to work hard to get there, and I won't mind coming in on third- or fourth-and-1, trying to get extra yards. Anything to help my team win. I don't have a problem with waiting my turn. I'm going to come in and work hard and try to get that No. 1 spot. A lot of people say, he's stuck behind Caleb and Washaun, but I've never been a backup running back for long, so I don't know how it feels. I guess I'm going to feel it this year, but I'm still going to work real hard to get that No. 1 spot.

DH: Is there a guy you've modeled your game after or someone whose running style you'd say you resemble?

I'm not really sure because a lot of people say different things. Some people say I look like Herschel or Robert Edwards or Terrell Davis. So me, I'm thinking it's a combination of speed and power and determination.

DH: So did you have a favorite player growing up? Or do you have a guy you really like now?

I always like, for some reason, Noel Devine. I know he's a smaller back, but I always liked him. Right now, I like Mark Ingram. He's just determined to get that first down. But when it comes down to it, I'd probably say Terrell Davis or Herschel.

DH: This year wasn't the biggest recruiting class for Georgia, but there are a lot of local guys, particularly from around the Atlanta area. Have all of you guys stayed in touch and bonded as you've been getting ready to start your college careers?

Oh yeah we have. I'm most close to (fellow Southwest Dekalb product) T.J. (Stripling) and we've been close with Garrison (Smith) and Michael Thornton. One goes to Stephenson and one goes to Douglass, so they aren't that far from our school. We keep up on football and go out and hang out and stuff. We're real cool. We keep in touch and talk about how are you doing, you ready to come, you ready to be a Bulldog, how you training, stuff like that. We'll be ready to be there on May 31.

DH: That's just two weeks away. You getting nervous?

I'm not going to lie to you, I'm pretty nervous. It's not like I'm scared or anything, but just nervous that I'm going into a new environment and it's not going to be like high school anymore. I've just got to be ready to accept that challenge, get in there and stay focused.

DH: What do you feel are the things you're most going to need to work on once you get to campus?

I know I didn't do it a lot in high school, and that's my pass blocking. I rarely even blocked in high school, so it's going to be kind of hard for me. And quicker feet -- trying to hit the hole faster. I think I hit the hole pretty fast, but I can always get better. Work on my speed and strength and really work on my all-around game. I feel I'm good enough to play at the next level right now, but I know I can always get better.

DH: Obviously you've had a great football career in high school. Did you play any other sports, too?

Baseball and football.

DH: So are you a Braves fan?

I'm not a Braves fan, but I was an Andres Galaraga fan when he played for the Braves.

DH: What else do you do for fun besides sports?

I just like to hang out with friends and play some games. I watch a lot of TV. People don't know, but I still watch a lot of cartoons in my house. All my friends -- we're 18, but we still watch cartoons. Nothing's changed since we were younger.

DH: Cartoons, eh? Which are your favorites?

For adult cartoons, it's "Family Guy." But right now, I wake up in the morning, I turn on the "The Jetsons" or my old-school cartoons I used to watch a long time ago. Nothing's really changed.

DH: If you could meet one celebrity -- maybe sit down and have dinner with them -- who would it be?

I'd have to say Knowshon Moreno.

DH: I'm sure that could probably be arranged. What do you like about Knowshon?

I watched an interview with him on YouTube and he was saying, who's the sweetest girl you ever met, and he was talking about Patty Mayonaise. He was talking about the girl from "Doug." He still watches cartoons like we do. Just the way he talks, he seems like he's a real cool, down-to-earth person. He's not cocky, and he's got his head on straight. I think we'd be a real good connection.

DH: Well from what I know of Knowshon, I think that's pretty accurate. You could probably have dinner with him and it'd be hours before he mentioned football.

See, I like that.

DH: Well aside from athletes, who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My grandfather. He's a huge Georgia fan. When Georgia offered me, he'd always been looking at Georgia. He always has been there for me. He's taken me to camps, any school activity. That started when I was very young -- when I was four years old. He was my coach from 4 to like 13. So that's my biggest influence right there.

DH: OK, so two weeks left: What are you most excited for when you finally get to Georgia?

I'm excited about putting my equipment on and being a freshman at Georgia. Hopefully we can get an SEC championship as soon as I get there. But there's a lot to work on, and I just want to start real early. I want to get there and play my freshman year. I'm not really trying to redshirt. I want to get in there and I'm really expecting a good year. That's what I'm most excited about.

Many thanks to Ken for his time and answers. So what do you guys think? Do you expect Malcolme to push for some immediate playing time?


Anonymous said...

Ken sounds like a good dude who has the right mentality. Confident but not cocky...and he digs cartoons like Knowmo, so maybe he'll run like No. 24.
But...he did mention that he didn't block in highschool. From what I've read and heard about CMR, he is a huge beliver in the RB's knowing the blocking schemes forwards and backwards. He benched King in 2008 for failing to pick up a block in the UF game that got Stafford killed. I see a definite RedShirt for Malcome so he can learn everything there is to know about blocking. He may see the field on special teams, but no way does he play in the backfield unless there is a rash of injuries at RB.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really good kid especially his honesty about being nervous about college. He sounds like he has his head on his shoulders not in the stars. With a good mixture of experienced advisers/role models and the playfulness of 18 year old.

Riley said...

As previously mentioned, he'll have to learn to block. There's a spot open with Samuel moving to defense, and a lot of people are expecting the offense to be more run heavy. The opportunity is there even with Ealey & King, but it all depends on how he acclimates to the college game.

Anonymous said...

I hope he can turn a corner better than his cousin...

PJ said...


Ben Dukes said...

I think Malcolme has all the makings of a good career back. I also think that college football has largely passed the "immediate redshirt" period of its existence. You can't assume ANYONE will redshirt anymore, and I hope Coach Richt has learned that.

That being said, I disagree with the idea that the hole vacated by Samuel is one which is immediately open to Malcolme. He's a power back, and that is a great thing, but does anyone really think he's going to unseat either of the guys we have in the backfield already? I doubt it. So then, you have to start analyzing when he'd get his PT. Most likely, that would be late in the game, after UGA has a comfortable lead and is coasting.

Does anyone remember a game in recent history, not played against Tennessee Tech, when we've played out THAT scenario?

I'm a vocal believer in Mark Richt, and I think this team has a chance to be very good this year. But, I don't know that Richt immediately gets the chance to work Malcolme in. Don't forget, Thomas and Jackson are still in the backfield, and will have a big advantage in the blocking-scheme awareness game.

Then again, if the only snaps Boo would see are at the end of games, then it's just as likely they'd put him in and let him carry the ball to wind down the clock, should he prove to be safe with the ball (something Thomas has had trouble with).

To be perfectly honest, I'm not that big a fan of redshirting many positions unless the depth is an embarrassment of riches. QBs, I believe, should ALMOST always be redshirted. But, you redshirt a kid because you think you'll get five years out of him. If a kid is good enough for the NFL after three years, he'll most likely go. That means that if he redshirted, you'll only get two years of service (Moreno). I just don't see that as a good return, in most cases.

As a coach, you get your best ballplayers on the field and you go play ball. I don't know that Malcolme Year 1 will be the best option at tailback. But, if he can be of service, then he should be on the field somewhere.

OH, and for the "Anonymous" who wanted to take a shot at Pat...I'd love to see how the accomplishments of your life stack up against his. Maybe he couldn't hit a hole like Emmit Smith, but he sure could sign an NFL paycheck.

Souith FL Dawg said...

To tell the truth, I've been envisioning Malcome at fullback after Chapas and Munzenmeier graduate, because it seems like Charles White fell off the face of the earth.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great young man.

Ryan said...

Can he pitch?

Anonymous said...

We need to do a better job please of describing our recruits in terms of their injuries, please gentlemen. We have continued to recruit injured players here and they have struggled getting ready because of the injuries.

Ken Malcome.

Where did you get the extra L ?

Ken Malcome was injured in his knee, never good and in his ankle missing 4 games for Southwest DeKalb.

2.4 GPA is not impressive and neither is 810 SAT. 4.54 in the 40-yard dash doesn't establish Ken Malcome on the same level as Patrick Pass, but he should be able to try harder if we don't fill his head that he is as great as Patrick Pass, who always said that he just waited for the game to come to him.

Rather than getting after it, himself.

I'd rather recruit Thomas Brown's cousin, if I had a choice.

As for the conversations that Caleb King gives us 2 great running backs this up-coming year, I myself have not been impressed with Caleb King at all.

Look at what Ken Malcome says about what Caleb King said to him.

It's a grind.


Football is a lot of fun.

Grind ?

Caleb King fins football a grind ?

Caleb King, also recruited here as an INJURED PLAYER has had NOTHING BUT ISSUES injury wise, and has amassed more games of 1 yard or less than any running back in the history of UGA football.

Ken Malcome is 6 feet and 212 lbs with 4.55 speed in the 40-yard dash coming off a season of multiple injuries to his knee and ankle and brings with him the struggles of a 2.4 GPA and 810 SAT to beat out the # 11 best Running Back in the nation last year Washaun Ealey when Ken Malcome is the # 25 best Running Back in the nation this year, and injured and dealing with college courses.

That and this offense has not run the football since Coach Richt got here 2001.

How good a pass blocker is Caleb King when in the game he runs for 1 yard total for the whole game ?

As for all the others at running back, well we have averaged 21 fumbles a year every year for the last 4 consecutive years and counting. With an unprepared quarterback for the 3rd time starting 2006 yet again, we won't improve those numbers this season. Will we ?

We have 1 tailback Washaun Ealey and we need Ken Malcome to be on the field in the first game this Fall. There were many running backs in this state this year who we could have recruited. We did not. They play at other SEC schools where they will hit the field and play in game 1, all of whom are better than Ken Malcome.

We had better talent here at UGA when Coach Richt first got here.

Our offense is what it is. And, it is not very good, and very poorly coached.

We also play favorites and by the way his position coach is a former wide receiver who has been wholly unable to teach anyone how to run the football and hold on to it. His Dad was a great running back; perhaps Coach Richt should have made him Running Backs' Coach ?

Kathleen said...

Anonymous, I'd love to know your diagnosis so we could make some sense of why you feel compelled to take anything you can and twist the facts to rail against any kid who plays for Georgia.

Caleb King said it's a grind referring to the daily amount of work - practice, working out, meetings training, school work. I'd love for you to find any scholarship football player who says that college is a breeze. It's a lot of work, a TON of work. He's not saying that the game isn't fun, he's telling the kid honestly to get ready to work.

But if you'd tell us verbatim what your therapist says your problem is, it would make your posts much easier to understand, at least we'd have some sympathy, maybe.

But it's also hard to imagine having any sympathy for someone who anonymously attacks young men (many of them are TEENAGERS still) in any way that he can.






Wangail said...

Never good. Anonymous how many games have you seen Ken play and how often have you seen Ken Play. What are you good at besides criticizing. Have you ever played football?

Please tell me what does Ken's GPA and SAT scores has to do with his abilities as a solid football player. And you have the never to mention it twice. Are you just a hater, did he make the team and your son did not. 4.0 GPA does not make the best Doctors, Lawyers or Presidents and they sure as heck do not make the best footnall players.

Instead of focusing on the negatibe give the players a chance to prove themselves. Stop being a miserable UGA fan and before puttinb someone else's facts out there, why don't you give us a list of your accomplishments.