Freshman Offensive Lineman Malachi Wood has Made a Big Impression


Malachi Wood (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky offensive lineman Marques Cox completed his sixth year of college football in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl but will return to UK in 2024 for a seventh season.

The starting left tackle has been a mentor to true freshman Malachi Wood, a 6-8, 280-pound tackle from Madison Central.

“Malachi has improved night and day. I worked with him at least a couple of times a week where me and him were just going and talking technique,” Cox said. “He is improving well beyond his measure. There is still so much he can improve on. I am really proud of him for just one year in college.

“I didn’t know him in high school but I love him to death. He is starting to get that mean streak. Once he gets his technique down, he can add meanness and aggressiveness after that.”

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen said Wood continues to get better because he has dedicated himself to changing his body and his craft.

“He works at it post practice. He is doing the right things to get better,” Coen said.  “He’s a great kid. No issues. He’s the type of kid you look forward to working with in the spring when the bullets are flying more live for him and you can put him in position against better competition.”

Wood was a consensus three-star prospect who helped Madison Central and coach Mike Holcomb win a Class 6A regional title in 2022.

“He is a different one. He is built in a lot of ways that you are looking for at the highest level of football,” Coen said. “When you are that long, it’s hard to get in and out of a stance fast. But length is something we can’t truly coach. That makes it exciting to work with him going forward.”

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