Never mind that Friday night’s Southwest DeKalb-M.L. King High matchup was an intense neighborhood rivalry between proud schools located four miles apart, each ranked in their classification’s respective Top 10s. Recruitniks were interested in seeing how the Georgia Bulldogs’ guy looked like up next to the Florida Gators’ guy.
Kendrun Malcome, Southwest DeKalb’s star running back, has committed to Georgia. MLK’s Brown, generally considered the state’s top back, committed to Florida over Georgia.
The reality was Friday night’s game didn’t do much to draw a distinction between the two backs. Their head-to-head performance was a draw.
Malcome had 75 yards on 17 carries but was hamstrung after his team’s only offensive threat after starting quarterback Stephen Coates went down with an ankle injury on the game’s first play. Brown had 66 yards on 20 carries and his team won the game but he struggled running between the tackles.
“Sometimes it’s like that; you’ve got to run hard and do what it takes to help the team win,” said Brown, who had slashing 26-yard touchdown run called back on an illegal-shift penalty. “They were putting a lot of guys on me and we couldn’t run but that opened up the passing game for us and we won the game.”
Indeed the most impressive player Friday night does not have any D-1 offers. MLK quarterback Cameron Myers had two touchdown passes despite having to run from defensive end T.J. Stripling – another UGA commit – all night long.
“After this game he should [get some offers],” Brown cracked.
Clearly Brown and Malcome are different kinds of runners. The 6-foot, 215-pound Malcome is a bruising pile-mover that could probably play fullback on the next level. The 5-11, 185-pound Mack is a fleet-footed sprinter whose best work comes outside the tackles.
Malcome said he thought his performance made a statement.
“I feel like I showed I’m one of the best in the nation,” Malcome said. “I’ve been overlooked by a lot of people, Rivals, Scout, a lot of people. feel like I had a decent game but all that doesn’t mean anything because we didn’t win the game. All that ESPN stuff doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win.”