Memphis (Tenn.) East High School is home to one of the most impressive student-athletes in the South for the Class of 2005.
Not only does two-way lineman Malcolm Rawls dominate while he’s on the field, but he’s also a dynamo in the classroom, where he maintains a weighted 4.6 GPA in honors engineering and has already tallied a 31 on the ACT.
“This is a special kid,” Memphis East coach Wayne Randall said. “I like to start with the person because he’s a person of impeccable character and just as fine a young man as you’ll ever be around. I think those academic numbers reflect that, but it goes beyond his grades. He’s just a great kid and a hard worker in whatever he sets his mind to do.
“Football-wise, we’re talking about a kid who’s 6-foot-4 1/2, 303 pounds and doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him. This child is cut like a Greek god. On the offensive line, he’s just a force up there. He can drive block anybody, I don’t care who it is. You put him in front of Malcolm, he’s going to move him off the line. He just craters people. Defensively, he’s a hard man to move. The one thing that we want to emphasize and work on this spring and summer is his footwork because a lot of people think he could be great on that side of the ball if he improves his feet a little bit.”
Rawls has already drawn four major scholarship offers – Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Memphis.
“Everybody from coast to coast is showing interest in him,” Randall added. “Notre Dame, Michigan, Stanford, Princeton, Georgia Tech, Duke… you name it, they’re on him.”
Any of those project him as either an offensive lineman or defensive lineman?
“They just want him as a football player,” Randall said with a laugh. “They’ll figure that out when he gets there.”
Asked if Rawls has any early favorites, Randall said: “Not really. Not that I’m aware of. I think he’s just sitting back and enjoying all this attention.”
Rawls would ordinarily be a candidate for all the high-profile camps leading up to his senior season, but Randall said he won’t likely make those appearances.
“He has a scholarship where he’s in his third year of taking summer courses up at Andover,” he said. “He turned down another scholarship worth about $31,000 to go up in New Hampshire this summer, so he’s pretty dedicated to the work he’s been doing at Andover. He’s got his head on straight.”