Before the 2019 football season, Malachi Wideman was considered a part-time football player who would likely ditch catching passes for a full-time career on the hardwood. The coveted hoops prospect had long been committed to Florida State and that was that.
But this fall, the senior transferred to Venice (Fla.) High School, a program who took home a state championship two years prior, and immediately became a productive focal point of the offense. Wideman more than doubled his career output in 2019, finishing with 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns in helping the Indians make another playoff run.
Some of the big plays Wideman put together came when the entire stadium knew the 6-foot-4, 185-pound prospect was getting the football and it still didn't matter. The length and bounce that makes him a great wing and dunker on the hardwood makes him a true vertical threat even when a defender is in what is considered ideal position.
Why Wideman is an All-American:
The only prospect on this list perhaps more famous in another sport for his viral dunks that have impressed the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Wideman’s 2019 has established him as a premiere football player as well. The long and bouncy wide receiver went from flash player to triple-teamed vertical threat as a senior and still managed to make ‘wow’ plays nearly every week. His combination of catch radius, at 6-foot-5 or so, elite leaping ability and ball tracking skill are unmatched nationally.
Even in scenarios where he is out-numbered, Wideman found ways to pull in long scores seemingly every week. Not only was he more consistent as a wide receiver this fall, but he was more complete in his game as well. He proved to be a competitive blocker, progressed as a route-runner and became a home run threat after the catch with great instincts and stride.
The raw tools Wideman possesses make him among the most intriguing athletes in the country regardless of position. Basketball will be a major factor for the current Florida State commitment when all is said and done but he’s far from the project he once seemed to be on the gridiron.
2019 SI All-American Offensive Team:
WR Malachi Wideman, FSU (Why Wideman? Highlights)
OL Nate Anderson, Oklahoma (Why Anderson? Highlights)
2019 SI All-American Defensive Team:
DL Jordan Burch, Uncommitted (Why Burch? Highlights)
LB Justin Flowe, Uncommitted (Why Flowe? Highlights)
DB Kelee Ringo, Uncommitted (Why Ringo? Highlights)
DB Enzo Jennings, Penn State (Why Jennings? Highlights)
ATH Avantae Williams, Uncommitted (Why Williams? Highlights)