Calling it the most stressful decision he ever made in his life, running back Ken Malcome said Monday he's grateful to be getting a second-chance to play football for the Georgia Bulldogs.
On Wednesday, Malcome informed Mark Richt that he was leaving the program, only to change his mind later that evening and following a lunchtime meeting on Thursday with the head coach, was allowed to return to the team.
Buried on the depth chart at running back, his situation there was thought to be the main reason Malcome was considering a move, but following practice Monday he said there was more to it than that.
Although he declined to elaborate, the thought of leaving his teammates and friends behind, convinced him he was making the wrong choice.
"A lot of people don't know what's going on. It's not just football, kind of personal stuff, too. I just came to a point
I felt like I wanted to do it (transfer) at first," Malcome said. "But just by looking at the
trusting in God
these are my teammates, these are my brothers. In my heart, I'm going to be a Bulldog, no matter what happens."
Malcome said he was disappointed with the way he handled the situation.
"I wasn't man enough to stand up and fight for it," he said. "After thinking about it I realized a man goes through his problem, he faces them. I've faced a lot of problems before, but this was the biggest one I ever faced in my life. I guess I cracked under pressure. Like I told Coach
It would never happen again."
The thought of being labeled a quitter didn't sit too well with him, either.
"I didn't want people to think of Ken Malcome of being a quitter," he said. "I don't want to leave Georgia without getting a name first."
After telling Richt he was leaving, Malcome said he went back to his room by himself to do some serious soul searching.
"I thought about it for a long time. I asked myself if that was really what I wanted to do, I was thinking about all the consequences. I could drop my classes, they could send me home, I could start over my whole career," he said. "There were a lot of things that could happen that I didn't want to."
According to Malcome, he received a phone call from defensive line coach Rodney Garner asking him to stay.
He also spoke with former Southwest Dekalb assistant and current Miller Grove head coach Damien Weems.
"Coach G called me earlier that day telling me he didn't want me to leave, that he still thought I could be an SEC-type player," Malcome said. "I already knew in my mind I would change my mind. There were just some things going on that I couldn't handle at this point in time in my life, because I wasn't home. But I just told myself that I had to be a man and fight through it."
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.