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August 18, 2010

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.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:17 AM | | Comments (2)


Certainly glad to have any prospect from any state that wants to be a Terp, but I thought UM coaches said they wanted to focus on in-state kids in the wake of announcing the 2010 class in February. Don't follow recruiting that closely, but it seems like the 2011 class will be fairly full of out-of-state signees. That's fine -- we'll take the talent from wherever. It just doesn't sound like it matches what I thought was a focus on MD/DC/NoVA. Any thoughts?

Paul -- The 2011 class will definitely be dominated by out-of-state recruits. Part of that is because it's not a great year for talent in Md., but the Terps have also missed out on a couple in-state guys they wanted. They've certainly spent a lot of time this year in New Jersey and North Carolina, but I'm sure they'd say MD/DC/NoVa will continue to be the focus. Ultimately, winning is the main thing that will lead to more local guys committing.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class

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