Albany's Kevin Malloy gobbles down breakfast to keep defenders from gobbling up sacks
After all, Kevin Malloy starts his day with four pancakes, six sausage links, perhaps a half dozen eggs and several strips of bacon. Then there is the protein shake.
Because of a lack of depth on Albany’s offensive line Malloy was asked to move from tight end to left tackle prior to the start of the 2014 season. At that point he tipped the scale at 250 pounds and needed to add 30-40 more in order to make the move. That meant big breakfasts every day.
Actually, that first year Malloy gained only a few pounds and still earned third-team CAA honors.
“Going into camp that year we really didn’t have anybody at that position so coach (Greg) Gattuso asked me if I could do it,” said Malloy, who stands 6-5. “He said that I had to get bigger, but of course I will do it. I was about 255 then and I made third team all-conference, which surprised me because I did not really know how to play tackle.”
With the help of veteran line coach Jim Sweeney, who spent 16 years as an offensive lineman in the NFL and at one point started 158 consecutive games for the New York Jets, Malloy was able to grasp the nuances of the position. His considerable diet ultimately helped him grow to about 285 pounds, which is where he has leveled off.
Heading into his senior year, and his third season on the O-line, Malloy still starts every morning with a huge breakfast. Throughout the day he will snack on apples, oranges and protein bars. He also manages to down a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At night he will have steak, chicken or fish with rice and veggies.
“It is probably about 10,000 calories during the day,” he said with a chuckle. “I have plateaued at 285 now and have changed the diet a little bit.”
What has not changed is Malloy’s dedication to the Great Danes and his desire to continue to get better. Those are characteristics with which Gattuso is most appreciative.
“He has transformed himself into a really good football player,” said the former Penn State defensive lineman, who is now in his third season as the head coach at Albany. “Kevin has been a shining example of doing what is best for the team and working to attain a goal. He is a leader who has grown into a guy that we count on every day. He is going to have a great year for us.”
Doing what is best for the team is not often enough at the top of any given player’s list of agenda items. For Malloy, selflessness is something that has been ingrained. His mother and father would have it no other way.
His father, Charles, is a retired NYPD officer who currently serves as a Bay Constable patrolling the harbor in Smithtown on Long Island’s north shore.
“One of the most important things about being a police officer is accountability, and secondly, being a hard worker,” said Malloy. “Those are the things my father instilled in me when I was growing up. You also cannot take any day for granted because you never know what is going to happen, especially in his line of work.”
Malloy is also a considerate sort, traits that come from both parents and especially his mother, Marianne, who teaches at a church.
“My friends say that my mother is a saint,” he said. “It is not just me saying that because she is my mother, but everybody I know says that. She is such a genuinely nice person, which is something that is very hard to come by nowadays. Too many times people walk past each other and don’t say ‘Hi.’ She taught me to be caring and passionate.”
With all the boxes checked in the “character” category Malloy is been tinkering with ways to maintain his weight and perhaps gain a little more. It was suggested that a scoop of peanut butter every hour throughout the day could ultimately add 10 pounds.
“It’s unorthodox,” he said, “but if it works it works.”
Photo courtesy University of Albany Sports Information