In 2014, the wide receiver will be an area of focus for the USC Trojans, presuming that current junior Marqise Lee will be an early entrant to the 2014 NFL Draft. Lane Kiffin and his staff took one baby step towards trying to find depth at receiver on Thursday night, as they sent a scholarship offer the highly-touted Josh Malone, per Scott Schrader of FightOn247.
Malone, a 6-foot-3, 187 pound receiver of Station Camp High School in Gallatin, Tennessee, is the third ranked wideout in the 2014 class according to Rivals, as well as the 38th ranked recruit overall. In the FanSided 150, Malone comes in at No. 90, just ahead of USC commit Jordan Poland and running back target Joe Mixon.
A slew of schools are in the mix for Malone, including SEC powers Auburn and Georgia, in addition to in-state power Tennessee. USC was one of the last holdouts on offering Malone, with Alabama and Penn State being two of the notable schools that have yet to offer him a scholarship.
Malone has gone to both Georgia and Tennessee –the early odds-on favorites– on unofficial visits this month, and could conceivably add USC to that list next week. He’ll be in Los Angeles at UCLA’s Elite Camp on June 21st, and considering that it could be his only time in the area for the foreseeable future, an unofficial to USC wouldn’t be surprising given the fresh scholarship offer.
Malone is being recruited by Tee Martin, who handles the Tennessee and Kentucky region of the SEC, in addition to serving as the Trojans’ receivers coach. Last year, Martin was the main recruiter for another prospect hailing from just outside of Nashville, Jalen Ramsey, whom USC lost just before Signing Day.