Malone picked as C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

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Credit: WKU Athletics

DeAngelo Malone (10) of Western Kentucky University’s Hilltoppers celebrates with his teammates after a successful play at the game against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Houchens-Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, Ky.

Wyatt Sparkman, Football reporter

WKU senior edge rusher DeAngelo Malone’s impressive resume continues to expand. Conference USA announced on Tuesday that the Georgia native has been selected as the C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. 

https://twitter.com/ConferenceUSA/status/1417529740546748417

This is the 2019 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year’s second consecutive season being named C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He racked up 71 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2020 on top of 99 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in 2019. 

Malone has already been named to both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Preseason All-C-USA first teams as well as the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, which is handed to college football’s best defensive player.

Malone will enter the 2021 season just one-half tackle for loss behind Andrew Jackson’s 43, an FBS-era record for WKU. He broke WKU’s FBS sack record on Nov. 14, 2020 against Southern Mississippi, but he is six sacks short of breaking WKU’s all-time record of 30 career sacks held by Sherrod Coates. 

The full list of preseason C-USA awards can be found here.

Football reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @wyattsparkman3.