By Adam Brown
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff signed the nation’s No. 5 defensive tackle prospect, Tywone Malone, to their 2021 signing class on Wednesday. Malone made his announcement live on ESPN2.
“We were very excited about the initial class of 24 players who were actually signed, including some other players,” Kiffin said. “To add one today, a top 50 player in the country… I’m sure whatever rankings, this is a top-20 class, whatever that means. Most importantly, we got a great player today.”
Malone heads to Oxford from Oradell, New Jersey, after playing high school football at Bergen Catholic. He is rated 0.9709 by 247Sports and is a composite four-star. Malone is also ranked Number 62 nationally sixth at defensive tackle and No. 1 in the state of New Jersey.
“He’s no secret,” Kiffin said. “I think he got offers from everyone in the country. We went down to the wire with some big-time, great programs. Coach Chris Patridge did a great job. Marquise Watson helped him as well. Obviously, great connections up there from Bergen Catholic. I think the last player we signed out of Bergen Catholic was Brian Cushing (at USC). If he can play anything like Cushing did, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Over his high school career on the gridiron, Malone garnered 111 tackles, 28 for a loss and 14 sacks. Malone will also play on the baseball diamond at Ole Miss.
“[Malone] is not just a great football player but a great baseball player,” Kiffin said. “We can continue to build that relationship of having players play two sports, which is great for the university just like Jerrion Ealy and John Rhys Plumlee do.”
Malone joins 24 other signees heading to Ole Miss, helping to push the Rebels up to No. 17 in national rankings.