Tom Malone
    Tom  Malone


    Lake Elsinore, CA

    High School:
    Temescal Canyon

    Height / Weight:
    6-0 / 205




    CAREER: Malone's 44.5 career punting average (on 153 punts) is above the USC record (44.1 set by Des Koch in 1951-53) and just shy of the all-time Pac-10 mark (44.6, by UCLA's Kirk Wilson in the mid-1950s). Fifty-one of his 153 career punts have traveled at least 50 yards and 84 have pinned opponents within the 20-yard line.

    2005: The strong-legged Malone, a record-setting All-American, returns for his fourth season as USC's punter. He is a leading candidate for the Ray Guy Award, as well as All-American honors. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage in his right knee prior to 2005 spring practice. He was named to the prestigious 2005 Playboy Pre-Season All-American team for the second consecutive year.

    2004: Malone was in his third season as USC's punter as a junior in 2004. He has proven to be a weapon whenever he boots the ball. Overall in 2004 while appearing in all 13 games, he averaged 43.8 yards on 49 punts. He ranked ninth nationally in punting (43.8, first in Pac-10). A total of 30 of his 49 punts in 2004 pinned opponents within the 20-yard line and 13 traveled at least 50 yards (with a pair of 62-yarders). He was a semifinalist for the 2004 Ray Guy Award. He was named a 2004 All-American honorable mention. He made the 2004 All-Pac-10 first team (for the second consecutive year) and the All-Pac-10 first team. He was named to the 2004 Playboy Pre-Season All-American team. He averaged 42.8 yards on his 5 punts versus Virginia Tech (1 traveled 53 yards and 2 pinned the Hokies within the 20). He averaged 43.2 yards on his 4 punts against Colorado State (with 2 keeping CSU within the 20). He averaged 44.0 yards on 4 punts at BYU (all pinned the Cougars within the 20). He averaged 40.3 yards on his 3 punts at Stanford and 57.0 yards on his 2 punts (with a 62-yarder) against California. He averaged 48.7 yards on his 3 punts against Arizona State (with a 62-yarder for the second consecutive game), then 48.3 yards on his 3 punts against Washington (all of them kept UW within the 20), with a pair of 50-yarders. He averaged 37.3 yards on his 6 punts at Washington State (3 pinned WSU within the 20). He averaged 43.1 yards on 7 punts at Oregon State (5 pinned OSU within the 20), then 44.5 yards on his 2 punts versus Arizona. He averaged 43.0 yards on 2 punts against Notre Dame, with 1 stopping within the 20 (he had another punt partially blocked). At UCLA, he averaged 45.0 yards on his 4 punts (with a 59-yarder), but had a punt blocked and another returned for a TD. He averaged 43.5 yards on his 4 punts against Oklahoma (all kept OU pinned within the 20) to be named to CBS's All-Bowl Team.

    2003: Malone, in his second season as USC's punter, proved to be the nation's top punter as just a sophomore. Overall in 2003 while appearing in all 13 games, he averaged 49.0 yards on his 42 punts. Some 24 of his 42 punts went at least 50 yards and 28 pinned opponents within the 20-yard line. He was 1 of 10 semifinalists for the 2003 Ray Guy Award and made the 2003, and All-American first teams (USC's first-ever All-American first team punter), as well as the AP All-American second team. He was named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 first team, as well as the All-Pac-10 and All-Pac-10 first teams. His 49.0 punting average broke the USC season record by 3.4 yards (and was close to the Pac-10 season record of 49.3 set by UCLA's Kirk Wilson in 1956). He led the nation in punting for 5 consecutive weeks in the midseason and would have won the national punting title but, because of the efficiency of USC's offense, he was 5 punts shy of having the NCAA-required minimum 3.6 punts per game to be listed. In fact, his 49.0 average was 1.0 yards above the national leader. He also did a flawless job as the holder on all placekicks. At Auburn, he boomed 7 punts for a 45.1 average (including 5 within the 20-yard line and 3 that went 50-plus yards, with a 70-yarder and then nailing his last one out of bounds at the Auburn 2). He then rocketed 5 of his 6 punts more than 50 yards (including a 59-yarder) against BYU for a 52.0 average and 5 of his boots pinned the Cougars within the 20-yard line (he was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week). He averaged 53.7 yards on 3 punts (with a 69-yarder) against Hawaii. At California, Malone averaged 50.5 on his 4 punts (2 pinned the Bears within the 20) but had a punt blocked. He averaged 45.2 yards on his 5 punts at Arizona State (1 pinned ASU within the 20) and 50.7 yards on his 3 punts against Stanford (2 pinned the Cardinal within the 20). His only punt at Notre Dame was partially blocked. His only punt at Washington traveled 54 yards. He averaged 51.0 yards on his 3 punts against Washington State. His only punt at Arizona went 47 yards. He averaged 45.0 yards on 3 punts (with a 64-yarder) against UCLA, with 2 pinning the Bruins within the 20. Against Oregon State, he averaged 54.0 yards on 3 punts (all pinned OSU within the 20). All 3 of his punts in the Rose Bowl against Michigan pinned the Wolverines within the 20 (he averaged 46.7 yards, with a 50-yarder).

    2002: Malone, who graduated a semester early from high school and enrolled at USC in the spring of 2002, did a nice job as USC's punter as a freshman in 2002. He was USC's first true freshman punter since John Stonehouse in 1992. Overall in 2002 while appearing in all 13 games, he averaged 42.1 yards on his 62 punts. Some 28 of his 62 punts kept foes within the 20-yard line and 12 traveled at least 50 yards (including a 72-yarder). He made 2002 The Sporting News Freshman All-American second team, Freshman All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-10 honorable mention, Rivals All-Pac-10 honorable mention and The Sporting News Freshman All-Pac-10 first team. He also was the holder on all placekicks.

    Against Auburn, he averaged 42.0 yards on 3 punts in his Trojan debut (including a 50-yarder). He averaged 51.2 yards on his 4 punts at Colorado (including a 60-yarder), but had a punt blocked. He averaged 36.9 yards on 11 punts at Kansas State (4 pinned the Wildcats within the 20 and 2 traveled 50-plus yards). He averaged 39.8 yards on his 6 punts against Oregon State (with 3 keeping OSU within the 20). At Washington State, Malone averaged 43.7 yards on 6 punts (with 3 pinning the Cougars within the 20). He averaged 49.0 yards (with a 50-yarder) on his 2 punts against California. Against Washington, he averaged 45.2 yards on his 5 punts (with 54- and 52-yarders) and twice pinned the Huskies within the 20-yard line. He averaged 49.0 yards on his 2 punts at Oregon (with a 52-yarder), with 1 pinning the Ducks within the 20, then averaged 41.8 yards on his 5 punts at Stanford (with a 54-yarder), with 1 pinning the Cardinal within the 20. He averaged 42.1 yards on his 7 punts against Arizona State, including a 72-yarder (USC's longest since John Stonehouse nailed a 76-yarder versus Washington State in 1994), and pinned the Sun Devils 4 times within the 20. At UCLA, he averaged 40.7 yards on his 6 punts (with a 53-yarder) and 4 pinned the Bruins within the 20. He averaged 42.0 yards on 3 punts against Notre Dame (1 kept the Irish within the 20), but had 1 blocked. He averaged 37.5 yards on his 2 punts against Iowa in the Orange Bowl.

    HIGH SCHOOL: He was named to the 2001 Super Prep All-American, Max Emfinger All-American, Super Prep All- Farwest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division V first team, Los Angeles Times All-Southern California first team, Los Angeles Times All-Inland Empire first team and Riverside Press Enterprise All-Riverside County first team as a senior punter and placekicker at Temescal Canyon High in Lake Elsinore (Calif.). He averaged 43.4 yards per punt in 2001 and 9 of his 38 punts pinned opponents inside the 10-yard line. He also kicked 46- and 47-yard field goals in 2001.

    As a junior in 2000, he made the All-CIF Division V first team while averaging 41.5 yards per punt despite missing the season's first 5 games with a broken left foot. Besides his punting, placekicking and kickoff chores, he was a wide receiver. He also played basketball and was on the track team (running the 200 meters in a school-record 22.37). Also a fine student, he was valedictorian at Temescal Canyon. PERSONAL: He's a political science major at USC. His personal punting coach was former Arizona State 1997 All-Pac-10 first team punter Marcus Williams. He was the subject of the website created by some USC fans in 2004.


    His goal as USC's punter:
    "I would rather never go on the field at all. If we just scored every time, we'd go undefeated and win the national championship, and that's what the whole goal is."

    Not having enough punts in 2003 to qualify for the NCAA statistical lead in punting average:
    "That's not something I care about at all. Even when my name was up there, it wasn't something I really cared about. It's a good honor to have, but the most important thing is how the team is doing. If I don't punt because we're moving the ball, I'd be so happy."

    Why he usually carries a football with him, constantly dropping it off the ground:
    "It's all the drop with me. From Thursday on, I don't kick the ball in practice. It makes me a lot fresher. I just walk around and drop the ball, whether I'm on campus or in the hotel or anywhere. Whether the drop is good determines whether the punt is good. If I get it down in my power zone, it all goes from there. Everything after that is muscle memory. If I drop it to the right I wind up kicking off to the side. I'm so accustomed to kicking it straight that I haven't done that much directional stuff. A lot of times, you wind up kicking it out of bounds and that isn't good."

    The importance of punting:
    "When you are a punter, you can really take the wind out of the other team's sails. In the end, the best punt is one that doesn't get returned. It's all about net punting."

    Becoming a punter:
    "I was a wide receiver as a freshman in high school. One day, after I dropped a pass in practice, in frustration I picked up the ball and kicked it as hard as I could. The ball sailed high and kept going and going. The coaches saw that and made me the punter. After that, I was primarily a punter, though I still played some wide receiver, a position I still kind of miss."

    The advantage of running track for a punter:
    "I think my leg speed really helped my punting develop."


    Mark Whicker, Orange County Register:
    "Tom Malone is college football's vanity plate, the chocolate truffle at the end of five courses. He should be playing for a school that needs him, like Baylor or Rutgers...He is an indulgence on a team that never punts."

    2002 (Fr.) 62260942.172 0 0 0.0 0 0
    2003 (So.) 42206049.070 1 0 0.0 0 0
    2004 (Jr.) 49214443.862 1 -15-15.0 0-15
    Career Totals153681344.572 2-12-6.00-15


    Va. Tech 5 21442.853
    Colo. St. 4 17343.347
    BYU4 17644.054
    Stanford 3 12140.357
    California 2 11455.262
    Arizona St. 3 14648.762
    Washington 3 14548.354
    Wash. St. 6 22437.346
    Oregon St. 7 30243.154
    Arizona 2 8944.547
    Notre Dame 2 8643.045
    UCLA4 18045.059
    Oklahoma (OB)4 17443.556

    Va. Tech521
    Colo. St.420
    Arizona St.322
    Wash. St.630
    Oregon St.752
    Notre Dame210

    Arizona St.522645.261
    Washington1 5454.054
    Wash. St.315351.055
    Arizona1 4747.047
    Oregon St.316254.058
    Michigan (Rose)314046.750

    Arizona St.513
    Wash. St.302
    Oregon St.333
    Mich. (Rose)331

    Kansas St.1140636.959
    Oregon St.623939.848
    Wash. St.626243.746
    California2 9849.050
    Oregon2 9849.058
    Arizona St.729542.172
    Notre Dame312642.042
    Iowa (Orange)2 7537.539

    Kansas St.1142
    Oregon St.630
    Wash. St.630
    Arizona St.741
    Notre Dame310
    Iowa (Orange)220