Alex Malzone, Birmingham Brother Rice's junior quarterback, seen here throwing at a Warriors practice is quickly making a name for himself as an elite college recruit in the Class of 2015. (Oakland Press photo archive)
FOOTBALL: Brother Rice's Malzone making his way to the top, heading Warriors charge for 3-peat
BIRMINGHAM – The human highlight zone is in the building.
Or shall we say on the local high school football field.
Birmingham Brother Rice junior quarterback Alex Malzone entered the 2013 season with a lot of hype surrounding him and he’s more than lived up to it, cementing his status as one of the state’s top field generals in the Class of 2015.
Malzone, in his first year as the Warriors’ full-time starter, is in the process of carving up the competition and has two-time defending state-champion Brother Rice off to a spirited 3-0 start in its quest for a return trip to Ford Field in November and the capturing of a third straight crown.
“I feel real comfortable in the pocket,” he said following a recent game. “I’m going through my reads and letting the game come to me. My receivers and line are playing great, too, so that’s making my life back there a lot easier as well.”
Already throwing for 670 yards and five scores, he’s completed over 70 percent of his pass attempts.
On Friday night, the 6-foot-3 fire-armed gunslinger was an efficient 10-of-12 for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the Warriors 31-6 flattening of Flint Carmen-Ainsworth.
In a 29-20 defeat of Cleveland St. Ignatius in Week 1, Malzone totaled 284 yards, second-most in the school’s illustrious history on the gridiron.
Last year as a sophomore, he began the season seeing spot duty. By the end of the campaign, he was sharing snaps the whole game and showing flashes of brilliance.
His arm-strength, accuracy and touch were on display in the 2012 state finals, when he was 8-for-10 for 167 yards and two touchdowns, the last of which was a 77-yard bomb to Corey Lacanaria in the closing minutes of the contest to propel Brother Rice into the lead.
He finished the season with an all-time program-best completion-rate of 77 percent.
This year he’s tracking to break several additional Warriors’ all-time records and appears pacing to be departing Brother Rice head coach, legendary sideline general, Al Fracassa’s most prolific signal caller in his over five-decade career.
“Alex has a very high level of skill at the quarterback position, he’s a natural in many ways,” Fracassa said. “More importantly, he’s a terrific young man and the kind of kid that you want to see succeed. I think he has an extremely bright future ahead of him as a football player.”
As a result of his riveting performance under center, he’s begun garnering Division I college scholarship offers. Right now, they’re coming from mid-major programs.
Soon, they’re sure to be spawning from the ranks of the BCS. That’s the level of talent Malzone possesses calling signals. The physical tools, the mental tools, the leadership ability, they’re all there.
Some experts peg the reason why he hasn’t got any bigger offers yet due to him not declaring football is No. 1 sports. You’ve got to remember, he’s been the starting third basemen for Brother Rice’s state-power baseball team since he was a freshman: back in June he slugged a walk-off single to win the Warriors a regional title on the diamond en route to an appearance in the Class A state championship game in Battle Creek.
Whether Malzone makes that declaration or not, the offers from the major college programs are almost-certainly forthcoming nonetheless. He’s that gifted.
Over the weekend, Malzone took a visit to Penn State.