By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe other coaches should do a little more praying. That’s the way Georgia coach Mark Richt says he ultimately gets the right players to become Bulldogs, and judging from some of the commitments he and his staff have recently secured, it’s working.
Southwest DeKalb running back Kendrun Malcome is the latest to join the fold, telling the AJC today that the relationships he’s forged with Richt and assistant coaches Rodney Garner and Bryan McClendon ultimately bred the winning trust.
“My trust in the coaches and that I was comfortable with the atmosphere and comfortable with the other players [were the deciding factors],” Malcome told the AJC. “They run my type of offense, pro-style. The coaches told me what life would be like outside of football. They cared about how my family was doing, how my schoolwork was going.”
Malcolm, a 6-foot, 213-pound rising senior, is rated by scout.com as the nation’s 27th-best running back and the 31st-best by rivals. He joins recent coups Alec Ogletree of Newnan, Brent Benedict of the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., Da’Rick Rogers of Calhoun — all players who chose the Bulldogs over Florida.
The Gators, who have put together a rock-solid class of their own, are still battling the Dogs for an even higher-profile running back in Georgia’s back yard. M.L. King’s Mack Brown, rated the sixth-best in the nation at his position by rivals and the seventh-best by scout, has narrowed his choices to those two schools.
Malcome said his high school coach, the highly esteemed Buck Godfrey, “felt good” about his commitment. Godfrey is known to discourage players from committing early, but Malcome said, “He just wants to make sure everyone is treated right.”