LSU nearly lost a major piece of its offensive line this offseason in tackle K.J. Malone. And the Tigers would have had the U.S. Department of Justice to blame.
Malone intends to join the U.S. Marshals Service after he’s done playing football, according to The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger. And Malone considered forgoing his final season in Baton Rouge to begin that career.
In January, he called his family and friends to his parents’ house to announce his decision. No one except Malone’s mother knew what he had decided before his announcement. Not even his father, two-time NBA MVP Karl Malone.
“We were in limbo until two weeks after the bowl game,” Karl said.
At that gathering, K.J. announced he would return for his senior season at LSU. His decision surprised people. Some expected him to give up football.
Instead, he returns to LSU as the Tigers’ likely starting left tackle in 2017. Ed Orgeron apparently pushed hard for him to stick around.
“He just told me how much he wanted my leadership next year and how much I can help the younger guys,” K.J. said. “That kind of helped seal the deal.”
So why does K.J. want to go into law enforcement?
He comes from a family with a history of military service, so he had wanted to serve his country for a long time. He also pointed to the killings of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas in 2016.
“Just because all of the stuff going on this summer with the cops,” Malone said. “It made me want to help the community and help the world.”