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