- Special Sections
- Dawgs Deals
- Local Guide
Justin Malone believes in his ability.
Whether it's scoring in the paint for the Madison-Ridgeland Academy basketball team or blocking an opponent as an offensive lineman for the Patriots, Malone has confidence he'll get the job done.
Malone, a 6-foot-6 and 305-pounder, committed to play for the Mississippi State football program last November and can't wait to show up on campus to show what he can do.
The MSU coaches have opened the door for Malone to gain early playing time and he plans to take advantage of it.
"They tell me if I come in and work and if I'm ready by the time the season starts, then I can play, but if I'm not ready to play, they'll redshirt me and get me ready for the next year," Malone said. "My mindset is I'm going there to play and not going there to redshirt. Next year, I will play and there's no doubt in my mind I will play because I like to be the best. I want to be the best and will do everything it takes to be the best."
In his visits with the Bulldogs, Malone liked the way the recruiting process was being handled.
MSU made such a huge impression on him that as soon as it made him an offer the day before the Jackson Prep game, he was committed.
"I visited a couple of big schools this year," Malone said. "When I went (to MSU), they already treated me like I was a part of the Bulldog family. Whereas, when I went to Auburn, they treated me like I was a piece of meat."
Malone said his commitment is solid and expects to sign with the Bulldogs on Feb. 2.
Malone showed the people in Starkville what he could do on the basketball court on last Friday night as the MRA Patriots defeated Starkville Academy 86-57.
Proving to be a tough matchup for the Volunteers inside, Malone scored a game-high 30 points.
"All I do comes from my teammates helping me out," Malone said. "As long as I'm in the post, I just wait for someone to feed me the ball or someone shoots it so I can get the rebound and put it back in."