Josh Malone wows crowd, coaches in Neyland debut

It may have been Josh Malone’s first game in Neyland Stadium, but he played as if he was a seasoned veteran.

The 5-star receiver hauled in six receptions for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns and looked as if he was going to be the lead receiver for the Vols this upcoming season. Malone was able to showcase all of his talents at the “Orange and White” game as he displayed breakaway speed, great hands, and precise route running.

“Josh has been doing this all Spring, and he has gone through the maturation process of a wide receiver with the last few practices with the sore legs and the academic grind,” Coach Butch Jones said. “But Josh is a very competitive young man and very talented and you can see that he adds a whole new dynamic to our offense.”

Jones has been saying since the offseason that receivers have to turn 5-yard catches into 20- yard gains. That is what hurt the team last year and the Volunteers have helped themselves a lot in that category in recruiting.

Quarterback Josh Dobbs also had a big day and seemed to have a special connection with Malone. “It’s been consistent all spring.” Jones said. “We have worked so much on routes and understanding how the receivers paint the picture for the quarterbacks and I think we have all been on the same page all spring.”

Malone was considered a top recruit in high school and his first public performance in a Volunteer uniform was nothing short of what was expected of him.

Edited by Zach Dennis