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Three Hilltoppers take home C-USA Preseason All-Conference Honors

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: Aug. 25, 2020 at 2:07 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Three Hilltoppers were named to the 2020 Preseason ALL-Conference USA Team, with two of those players earning individual awards.

Along with redshirt senior offensive guard Jordan Meredith, senior defensive end DeAngelo Malone, and redshirt senior punter John Haggerty made the C-USA Preseason All-Conference Team. Malone was voted as the preseason favorite to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year. Haggerty selected as Special Teams Player of the Year.

Malone won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. During his junior campaign, Malone tied for fourth in the country 21 tackles for loss, setting a WKU FBS Era (Since 2009) record. Malone tied for 11th in the nation with 11.5 sacks, becoming just the fourth player in WKU history to record double-digit quarterback takedowns.

Malone was the first Hilltopper to win Defensive Player of the year since linebacker Xavius Boyd and defensive end Quanterus Smith won the award in the Sunbelt Conference in 2012 and 2013.

After coming to the hill from Sydney, Australia, Haggerty kicked 45 punts for 2,064 yards in 13 games for the Tops. His gross average of 45.9 yards ranked first in the conference and set a single-season record for WKU. Haggerty also compiled 50+ yard punts on 38 percent of his 46 attempts, which ranked ninth in the FBS.

Meredith proved to be one of the best offensive guards in the conference in 2019. In WKU’s 13 games, Meredith tallied 912 snaps at right guard and led all C-USA guards with a 77.8 overall blocking grade, 88.9 pass-blocking grade, and 76.9 run-blocking grade by PFF College’s Premium Stats. Meredith led the nation with his pass blocking grade while ranking 14th in run blocking and 12th in his overall grade.

2020 C-USA Football Preseason Awards

Offensive Player of the Year

Brenden Knox, R-Jr., RB, Marshall

Defensive Player of the Year

DeAngelo Malone, Sr., DE, WKU

Special Teams Player of the Year

John Haggerty, R-Sr., P, WKU

Offense

QB Jack Abraham, R-Sr., Southern Miss

RB Justin Henderson, Sr., Louisiana Tech

RB Brenden Knox, Jr., Marshall

OL D’Antne Demery, Sr., FIU

OL Desmond Noel, R-Sr., Florida Atlantic

OL Kody Russey, Sr., Louisiana Tech

OL Cain Madden, R-Sr., Marshall

OL Jordan Meredith, Sr., WKU

TE Jason Pirtle, R-Sr., North Texas

WR Jaelon Darden, Sr., North Texas

WR Tim Jones, Sr., Southern Miss

WR Austin Watkins Jr., R-Sr., UAB

Defense

DL Markees Watts, Jr., Charlotte

DL Willie Baker, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech

DL Dion Novil, Sr., North Texas

DL Jordan Smith, R-Jr., UAB

DL DeAngelo Malone, Sr., WKU

LB Tavante Beckett, R-Sr., Marshall

LB Blaze Alldredge, Sr., Rice

LB Kristopher Moll, Sr., UAB

DB Ben DeLuca, Sr., Charlotte

DB Nazeeh Johnson, R-Sr., Marshall

DB Reed Blankenship, Sr., Middle Tennessee

DB Ky’el Hemby, R-Sr., Southern Miss

Special Teams

K Ethan Mooney, Jr., North Texas

P John Haggerty, R-Sr., WKU

KR Deion Hair-Griffin, R-Jr., North Texas

PR Talik Keaton, R-So., Marshall

LS Reeves Blankenship, Jr., Louisiana Tech

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