Malcolm Rodriguez Stay in Stillwater has been Rapid Especially for an Unrated Recruit
STILLWATER -- Malcolm Rodriguez has something in common with Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders. Okay, it's not the Heisman Trophy. Rodriguez was a second-team All-Big 12 linebacker last season, but he is not a threat to win the Heisman. No defensive player is if you ask me. It's not their draft prospect for the NFL. Sanders was the third player picked in the first round and the two that passed on him are still sick about it. Rodriguez will likely be drafted but it probably won't be until the third day.
What one of the greatest running backs in college football history and one of the most productive linebackers in recent Oklahoma State football have in common is that the were both very lightly regarded coming out of high school.
Sanders chose Oklahoma State over Iowa State, Wichita State and Tulsa. Rodriguez chose the Cowboys over Wyoming and NEO A&M. Sanders was before stars, but he was neither a blue or red chip, the preferred ranking of the day. Rodriguez was unranked, no stars. We said at the time that he might be the best high school senior football player in Oklahoma.
There is something else the two have in common. Sanders was in Stillwater only three years, a very fast college career. Rodriguez has stayed four and played straight through. Outside of grad transfers, junior college transfers, and players that wash out; Rodriguez time has been fast playing four straight seasons and it has seemed faster.
"It has been fast, just like high school because I thought that went really fast," Rodriguez said. "It has been very fast for me."
Rodriguez also says he finds it hard to believe that he is now weighing close to 230-pounds.
"When I was in high school I was working hard just to get to 180-pounds," Rodriguez said. "If I had seen my picture now and how I look, I'd say that guy is on something."
It's all natural, Cowboy training table and plenty of weight lifting as Rob Glass and his staff will tell you that Rodriguez works as hard in the weight room as he does on the field and he is one of the hardest workers in the Oklahoma State program.
That is evidenced by his 197 career tackles with 103 of those from last season. He has 12.0 tackles-for-loss. He had one interception, but that was a huge one, a pick-six to beat Iowa State in the fourth quarter last season.
He plays a lot more than he talks. In fact, he spent his quarantine this summer in a camper on his driveway at home venturing in to his garage to get workouts in. He is now more than happy to be able to see light at the end of the tunnel and game within 48 hours.
"Everyone is excited to hit somebody else," Rodriguez said.
I can guarantee you that right now, that is what Malcolm Rodriguez is thinking about.