Malone Earns Spot on 2020 Bednarik Award Watch List

The 2019 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year is receiving some much-deserved attention heading into the 2020 season.
WKU Football's Deangelo Malone vs Western Michigan in First Reponder Bowl
WKU Football's Deangelo Malone vs Western Michigan in First Reponder Bowl(Hunter Smith)
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 1:19 PM CDT
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WBKO) -WKU Football’s DeAngelo Malone has been named to the 2020 Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday morning. The award is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football.

In 2019, Malone played a vital role in the conference’s top-scoring defense. Malone racked up 99 total tackles, including 21 for loss, 11.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Malone’s efforts earned him C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, the first Hilltopper to receive the award.

Malone’s 21 tackles for loss set a new record for WKU football in the FBS Era (since 2009) and became just the fourth Hilltopper with double-digit sacks. His 99 total tackles were the third-most by an FBS defensive lineman in a single-season over the past decade.

The senior is only 1-of-19 defensive ends and 1-of-7 from Conference USA out of 90 total players on the Bednarik Award Watch List. Malone is also only 1-of-3 returning conference Defensive Players of the Year out of the 10 FBS leagues.

Malone and the Hilltoppers open the season on Thursday, September 3 against UT Chattanooga, kicking off at 6 p.m. CT.

In his second year, head coach Tyson Helton and his team will face a tough schedule in 2020 with nine of the team’s original 11 FBS opponents competed in a bowl game in 2019.

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