WKU Football DC Clayton White Named Broyles Award Nominee

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.WKU Football defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Clayton White was listed as 1-of-56 nominees for the Broyles Award, it was announced Tuesday. It is the third time in four seasons with the Hilltoppers that he has been named a Broyles Award Nominee (2020, 2019 and 2017).

White is only 1-of-24 defensive coordinators, 1-of-24 non-Power Five coaches and 1-of-4 from Conference USA (LA Tech outside receivers coach John Allen, Marshall defensive coordinator Brad Lambert and North Texas co-offensive coordinator Mike Bloesch). The honor recognizes the top assistant coach out of approximately 1,270 in 127 FBS programs across the country.

White’s full-time defensive coaching staff at WKU consists of Maurice Crum (co-defensive coordinator/linebackers), Andy LaRussa (safeties/special teams coordinator), Kenny Baker (defensive ends) and Kenny Martin (defensive tackles).

Through 11 games this season, the 5-6 Hilltoppers rank among the best in the nation in:

  • Passes defended (66 – leads the FBS)
  • Pass breakups (61 – leads the FBS)
  • Passing defense (170.1 yards per game – sixth)
  • Completion percentage against (52% – seventh)
  • Yards per pass attempt (6.2 – tied for 13th)
  • Passer rating against (113.4 – 14th)
  • Yards per play (4.99 – 21st)
  • Total defense (336.4 yards per game – 24th)
  • First downs allowed (18.6 per game – tied for 27th)
  • Scoring defense (24.1 points per game – tied for 35th)

WKU’s well-rounded defensive unit boasts six different Hilltoppers with at least 48 total tackles, 14 with at least one tackle for loss, 10 with multiple pass breakups, nine with multiple quarterback hurries, eight with at least one sack, five with an interception, five with at least one forced fumble and four with a fumble recovery.

As for individual highlights, defensive end DeAngelo Malone ranks tied for second in C-USA with 11 tackles for loss and third with six sacks, while his 65 total tackles rank second in the FBS among defensive linemen. Safety Devon Key ranks tied for the C-USA lead with 86 total tackles, while that total ranks tied for 15th in the FBS. Over four years in White’s system, both Malone (25 sacks) and Key (334 tackles) have been able to rack up the numbers necessary to ink their names at the top of the all-time Hilltopper record books in the program’s FBS Era (since 2009).

White’s cornerbacks have especially flourished this season, with senior Dionté Ruffin (11 pass breakups), redshirt junior Dominique Bradshaw (10 pass breakups) and senior Roger Cray (nine pass breakups) holding the top three spots in that statistic in C-USA.

Linebackers Kyle Bailey (72 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks) and Eli Brown (53 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks) have also put up big numbers, as well as defensive tackles Ricky Barber (48 total tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks) and Jeremy Darvin (28 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks).

Other main contributors for the WKU defense are safety Antwon Kincade (79 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups), defensive end Juwuan Jones (33 total tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks) and nickelback Trae Meadows (28 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups).

The Broyles Award was created in 1996 recognizing Coach Frank Broyles’ legacy of selecting and developing great assistants during his hall of fame career as head coach at Arkansas. A 43-member selection committee of distinguished former head coaches, broadcasters, and a committee representing the FWAA will select 15 semi-finalists and five finalists from the list of nominees and an overall winner for 2020.