Coach: Terps recruit Ryan Malleck a versatile TE
For the past three seasons, Ryan Malleck has done it all for Point Pleasant Borough (N.J.) coach Calvin Thompson on the football field.
When Thompson needed a pass-catching tight end in 2007, he brought up Malleck – then a 6-foot-2 freshman – to the varsity squad. Later, the Panthers sought a physical presence at free safety, and again, Malleck got the call.
“He’s also our placekicker,” Thompson said. “He’s just a great athlete and a great kid. He does extra points, he’s the field-goal kicker and he can throw the ball 60 yards. He’s got a cannon for an arm. If we were a traditional pocket-passing team, he could’ve played quarterback for us.”
Malleck’s versatility – along with his size and speed – caught the attention of coaches from a host of Big East and ACC schools, including Maryland. On Sunday night, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end committed to the Terps.
“I knew they were one of his favorites,” Thompson said. “Rutgers came in later. I think his top three schools, before Rutgers came in, were North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. And UConn and Central Florida, those were the other schools he was considering. But he was talking about staying close to home and playing in the ACC or the Big East.”
Malleck, who led Point Pleasant Borough in interceptions as a junior, wasn’t the first freshman to suit up for Thompson on the varsity squad. But the future Terp made an immediate impact as a ninth-grader and continued to progress over the course of the next two seasons.
“He caught his first touchdown pass in a state playoff game. So we got him the ball right away and put him in the rotation,” Thompson said. “I had two receivers in front of him, and both are now college athletes – one down at Alabama who’s a decathlete in track, and another who’s the starting tight end at a [Division III] school up here, Kean University. So we had some good athletes in front of him, but sophomore year he made all-county and last year he made what we call the Super 100 All-State team, the Top 100 kids in the state.”
Thompson runs a system that’s similar to Navy’s offense, although the Panthers’ quarterback threw for more than 1,500 yards last season. Malleck, who benches more than 300 pounds and squats over 400, presents matchup nightmares for opponents thanks to his size and speed.
“His ability to run and his height [stands out],” Thompson said. “He’s a big help for us in stretching the field as a pass-catcher and blocking on the edge. … We split him out at split end and we’ll also have him at tight end, so he’s more than a pass-catching tight end. We don’t really play a traditional tight-end set. So I think that gives us an advantage as far as game planning. People always have to account for us throwing the football as well as running.”
Maryland was the first program to offer Malleck, according to Thompson. The Panthers coach thinks the Terps have a plan for Malleck once he arrives in College Park next fall.
“I believe they’ll use him as a pass-catching tight end,” Thompson said. “I really haven’t talked to them a lot as far as what they plan to do with him. We were just talking about the school and the ACC. They’re really high on him. They made him a priority.”