MISSOULA — The power of social media helped Moses Mallory get a full-ride scholarship and potentially got Montana another starter for an offensive line that’s been working to improve after struggling last season.
Mallory, a junior college transfer, had the opportunity to go play at FBS West Virginia when his season ended last fall. But that scholarship was no longer being offered by the new coaching staff that took over when head coach Dana Holgorsen left for Houston.
So Mallory went to Twitter to market himself, sending a direct message with his film to nearly every Division I coach in the country, he said. He heard back from about 50 of them and received several offers, including FCS powers Weber State and Jacksonville State.
Mallory decided to commit to Montana last month and will be reporting for fall camp on Sunday. He's eager to show what he has to offer when practices start on Tuesday and the season opens on Aug. 31 at South Dakota.
People are also reading…
“Just be a hard-nosed player that gets after it and wants to win games, is dying to win games and someone that people can look up to. I want to have that leadership role,” Mallory said.
“That’s what I want the fans to see out of me, and that’s what I’m going to give them. Just know that Moses Mallory is coming to Missoula and he’s prepared to win.”
Mallory comes in as a 3-star recruit, the eighth-ranked offensive guard at the junior college level, per 247Sports, and the 15th overall prospect from Arizona junior colleges, according to Scout.com. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.
Mallory brings the size at 6-foot-3 and his current weight of about 335 pounds. The latter number may change a bit when he gets into Montana’s strength and conditioning program, but he feels comfortable playing where he is weight-wise.
“The coaches said they really liked that when I’m on the field I have a hard-nosed mentality. I like to put people in the dirt and I finish my blocks,” Mallory said. “I’m a bigger guy, but I also have the speed of a lighter O-lineman, so I can get to the second level and really get physical.”
On the offensive line, Mallory projects as a guard for the Griz. He’s played on the interior as a guard and center over the years but said he studies all positions on the line so he could be versatile.
Even with the need for linemen experience and depth at Montana, Mallory knows he has to come in and compete. He’s ready to take on that challenge and prove the coaches right.
“They wanted to bring me in as a leadership role and come in and take charge of the O-line and get things rolling and really come together as a group,” Mallory said. “Without the O-line, the team doesn’t move, so they wanted me to come in and fill that leadership spot and just do what a true O-lineman should do.”
Mallory feels comfortable taking on that leadership role.
“I’m a guy that if my teammates aren’t going, I’m going to get them to where we need to be,” he said. “I’m going to hold them accountable as well as I want them to hold me accountable. It’s on the field and off the field, doing the little things right. If that happens, I know we can win a Big Sky championship.”
The Herriman, Utah, native has already dealt with much tougher adversity. He injured his MCL in his knee two games into his true freshman season at Division II Dixie State and received a medical redshirt.
Overcoming the injury without surgery, he transferred to Eastern Arizona College and helped the team reach a pair of bowl games in two seasons. In his second year there, he was named to the All-Western States Football League second team.
After graduating with his associate’s degree in December, Mallory reached out to coaches via Twitter when he no longer had the opportunity at West Virginia. He heard back from Montana tight ends coach Jace Schillinger, went on a visit to Missoula and was sold on the Griz because of the coaches and players he met.
“They have a real championship mentality. That’s what jumped out to me,” Mallory said. “They have everything they need as far as assets and facility to really get the best out of the player. If you’re not getting better while you’re there, you’re not really working hard. I really liked that. My mom liked it, and that was really important to me was seeing my mom happy. I trust them and know we can win some Big Sky championships in Missoula.”
Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at Frank.Gogola@406mtsports.com.