Florida Football Recruiting: Malachi Toney is a real one

Recruit Malachi Toney visits Ohio Stadium during the Ohio State, Michigan game.Malachi Toney
Recruit Malachi Toney visits Ohio Stadium during the Ohio State, Michigan game.Malachi Toney /

The day was busy for Florida football yesterday, and Billy Napier welcomed on-campus freshman All-American Malachi Toney out of American Heritage High. The class of 2026 wide receiver has already been drawing the attention of schools like Ohio State and Alabama.

And while he is not the brother of a certain former Florida wide receiver that shares the same last name, there are a lot of similarities between the two.

Florida Football: Toney award

Toney is listed as 5’10” and 165 pounds, so he would seem too small to play in the SEC on the surface. But his film showcases a player that plays well above his listed size.

During his freshman campaign, Toney hauled in 35 catches for 621 yards, an average of 17.7 yards per catch. He also had eight touchdowns.

What is impressive about Toney is his ability to run various routes to get open. Unlike others we have chronicled, he’s not a one-trick pony that relies on one route.

He can run a streak, he has double moves, he can come across for a drag or he can run a 15-yard comeback route.

Toney seems to have a knack for finding the ball and catching the ball out in front of his body rather than allowing the ball into his chest.

His top-end speed probably needs to develop more, but his burst off the line and his stop-start ability are solid.

Toney was on campus with his mother yesterday, and his mom came away very impressed with the visit, saying that Napier “Was a real one” in Tweet she later put out.

Like all 2026 prospects, there is still a long road to go before Toney dons a college football jersey. But if he keeps up his play-making ability, he will continue to be one of the more sought-after wide receivers in the country.

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