Colton, Calif., safety Derrick Malone was one of the West's hottest targets in the spring evaluation process, and for good reason.
In 2008, he dominated on both sides of the ball, rushing for 1,063 yards, 11 touchdowns and also racking up 41 solo tackles, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
That allowed him to pick up early scholarship offers from Arizona State, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, Nevada and UTEP. Those offers were later joined by Washington State, Idaho and New Mexico. Other schools like Cal, Oregon, USC and UCLA are also very interested.
"Recruiting is going pretty well so far," Malone, who is 6-foot-2 and 205-pounds, said. "Things are going pretty fast. I've been talking to all the coaches that have offered me, and I call them every Sunday.
"At the moment, I like all of them the same. They're all really neat guys. Idaho, Washington State and New Mexico are my newest offers. I've talked to them all quite a bit. Washington State, I like their coaches. The sound very sure of themselves about the facts and questions about what classes I need and things like that. They're good."
Nebraska is a school that caught Malone's attention early in the process, but he's not talked to the Husker coaches in a little while.
"The coach (Carl Pelini) said he lost his phone, and I've been trying to reach him," Malone said. "I'll have to call him again since he can't call me. I like him. He's cool. I like their atmosphere and the stadium. I like how the program there is the center of attention."
Despite an early offer, Arizona State is one place that has seemingly pushed back on its attention.
"I talk to them, but not so much lately," Malone said. "It's kind of hard to get in contact with them sometimes. I like their location and their program."
Malone said it's too early in the process to talk about leaders.
"Right now, it's all even," he said. "There's no one above anyone. I'm just doing my research and talking to coaches to see what I like. I like Washington's coaches. They were the first to offer me, so I've been on them for a while. They feel like a family when you talk to them, I really like that. Coach Demetrice Martin has been recruiting me from there. I'm really hoping to hear from UCLA, Oregon and Cal. Those are some schools I've been interested in since I was younger. I've talked to coach Wayne Moses from UCLA and coach Al Simmons from Cal and coach Tom Osborne from Oregon."
Malone isn't sure what the rest of his summer plans have in store for him.
"It depends on if I get some schools close to here to offer," he said. "I don't have any California offers yet, and I really want a California offer because I love California. It's kind of surprising. I have eight offers right now and none of them are from California. Going away wouldn't be a problem, but it would be nice to have the option to stay.
"I went to a couple combines and the USC one on April 18. I liked it, it was a good chance to compete. I'm not sure what I'll do this summer, I need to talk to my parents about that."