One of the more interesting recruiting storylines to follow early on in the 2015 cycle had to do with who exactly Michigan would eventually offer and bring in at quarterback.
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier wanted to take things slow and evaluate quarterbacks in person before deciding what direction the staff wanted to go. Back in May, they found their man in Alex Malzone (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) from Brother Rice HS.
Malzone, 6-1, 200 pounds, committed to Michigan back on May 12 and has never wavered from his pledge to the school since then.
Let's take a closer look at his background and the type of player that the Wolverines are getting.
Three of the four major recruiting services (ESPN, Scout, Rivals) have him listed as a four-star prospect and all have him ranked at his position in the 12-16 range, depending on the site. He is listed as a three-star on 247 Sports.
Many were concerned Michigan had settled on Malzone when they saw the scholarship offers he had received before committing to the Wolverines. None exactly jumped off the page, but he still had a fair amount of interest from programs in the region.
Malzone received offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Toledo and Western Michigan in addition to finally being offered by the Wolverines. He also had interest from Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Malzone is not the tallest or most mobile quarterback, but he shows that he is plenty capable of moving the pocket around when he has to and is not afraid to make plays with his legs when the opportunity presents itself.
He has a pretty accurate arm and a tight delivery. His arm strength is not elite by any means but he makes up for that with his decision making and quick release.
What jumps out the most about Malzone is his mental makeup. He is a natural leader and appears to have a strong grasp on the offense he runs at Brother Rice. He certainly fits the bill in a quarterback that coaches would want running a pro-style or west coast offense.
He has done a lot to polish off his game as his senior year comes to a close, but he still would benefit from improving his feet quickness and mobility in the pocket. Some say what holds him back is that he probably won't be able to scramble too often, but if used correctly he should not be asked to do that.
So why Michigan?
With so much negativity flowing around the program right now, some prospects have chosen to look elsewhere, but that does not look like it will be the case with Malzone.
His father, Patrick Malzone, told Scout's Allen Trieu what it will be like to see his son play for the program his family has cheered on for years. (FREE)
It’s a dream. Even when he was younger, going to games, we'd be standing there, and the marching band would be playing. Then the team would come running out of the tunnel and I'd look at Alex and say 'that could be you someday and it’s going to be' and he knew it. He had his heart set in Ann Arbor since he started going to games. At three years old, he had his heart set on playing there. It's special, to be honest with you, I’m a local guy. I grew up in Livonia, and I've had a lot of friends who come to games, and we can enjoy this together. People used to, when we'd go to tailgate at the golf course at Michigan, watch him throw the football as a kid and be amazed...and now, it's a little weird that he'll be playing there, but it's special.
More background and stats
Malzone had a strong offseason after committing to Michigan. He attended several camps across the nation and had a lot of good showings alongside some of the most talented prospects in all of high school football. His most notable appearance was at Nike's The Opening event in July, where he was invited to compete in the Elite 11 finals by former NFL quarterback and ESPN personality Trent Dilfer.
His hard work has paid off during his senior season at Brother Rice. The Warriors currently hold an 11-0 record and are looking to cap off yet another season with a state championship. Malzone has been a huge part of that.
This season, he has thrown for 2746 yards with 35 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Even though Michigan has lost a lot of key members in their 2015 class recently, Malzone was a big part in connecting with several talented players interested in the program and recruiting them to come to Ann Arbor. He's proven to be a leader in every sense of the word.
Below you can view his highlights from his junior season.