DeAngelo Malone named to 2020 Bednarik Award Watch List

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Western Kentucky Football senior DeAngelo Malone was tabbed among some of the highest-ranking defenders in the nation on the 2020 Bednarik Award Watch List announced Monday. 

The 26th season for the award, the Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.

Malone is only one of seven from Conference USA out of 90 players on the initial list. Voters include NCAA head coaches and members of the Maxwell Football Club, along with sportswriters from across the country.

Last season Malone was the first Hilltopper to be voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Year since joining the league prior to 2014 and helped anchor the conference’s top scoring defense.

Malone tallied 99 total tackles – including 21 for loss – with 11.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

The Atlanta, Georgia native set the WKU FBS Era record (since 2009) in tackles for loss, as well as becoming only the fourth defender in all-time Hilltopper history with double-digit quarterback sacks.

His 99 total tackles were the third-most by an FBS defensive lineman in a single-season across the past decade.

Malone ranks fourth with 11.5 sacks and third with 21 tackles for loss among all returning players in college football in 2020. Malone is only 1-of-3 returning conference Defensive Players of the Year out of the 10 FBS conferences.

Beginning with the season opener against the University of Tennessee Chattanooga – which has been moved to Thursday, September 3, with a kickoff time of 6 p.m. CT – second-year head coach Tyson Helton and the 2020 Hilltoppers will face a roller coaster ride of a modified 2020 season which has already seen their game against Indiana University get canceled in recent days.

Football beat reporter Casey Warner can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @thecaseywarner.