For a football team desperate for offensive playmakers, the news today couldn't be better. Freshman wide receiver Keiwone Malone — having redshirted last season for Alabama — has been ruled eligible by the NCAA to play immediately. (The Tigers travel to Jonesboro to face Arkansas State Saturday at 6 p.m.)
Malone was able to avoid the standard season on the sideline because he transferred to Memphis in part to be near an ailing relative. His case is similar to that of former Tiger basketball star Elliot Williams, who played for the Tigers in 2009-10 after spending his freshman season at Duke.
A four-star prospect at Mitchell High School, Malone caught 209 passes for 4,034 yards and 57 touchdowns as a prep Tiger. He immediately becomes one of the fastest weapons at the disposal of coach Larry Porter and freshman quarterback Taylor Reed.
Said Porter in a statement, “We are very excited that Keiwone has been cleared to play for us,” said Porter. “I am thankful to Nicole Green [the U of M's assistant athletic director for compliance] and her staff for all of their tireless efforts in making sure that all of the relevant paperwork was provided. I am also thankful to the NCAA for their quick response in this matter.”
Marcus Rucker led Tiger receivers with seven catches for 73 yards in their season-opening loss to Mississippi State.