WKU’s Malone named to Bednarik Award Watch List for 2nd straight year

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.For the second consecutive year, WKU Football defensive end DeAngelo Malone has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday morning. The Atlanta, Ga., native is only 1-of-5 Conference USA players on the initial list and 1-of-19 defensive ends. Meanwhile, there were zero other players from Kentucky schools.

Malone enters his fifth season as a Hilltopper, exercising his option for an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through four campaigns, he has become one of the most accomplished defenders in WKU history.

In 48 career games – 39 of them starts – he has made 255 total tackles (135 solo, 120 assisted) while racking up 42.5 tackles for loss and 25 sacks. Malone’s 25th sack on Nov. 14, 2020 vs. Southern Miss set the program’s FBS Era (since 2009) record, while his 42.5 tackles for loss entering the 2021 season stands only 0.5 behind Andrew Jackson for that record as well.

In 2019 he produced 99 tackles – including an FBS Era-record 21 for loss – to go along with 11.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries. He was voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, the first Hilltopper to earn the distinction since WKU joined the league prior to the 2014 campaign. His 99 total tackles were the third-most by an FBS defensive lineman in a single-season over the past decade.

The Chuck Bednarik Award – powered by Mammoth Tech – is presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football; the 2021 season will mark the 27th edition of the honor. Last year’s winner was linebacker Zaven Collins of Tulsa, who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.