WKU FB: DeAngelo Malone Lands on Nagurski Trophy Watch List Once Again


DALLAS, Texas — For the second consecutive year, WKU Football defensive end DeAngelo Malone has been named to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced Tuesday morning. It is the second preseason watch list for Malone, who on July 19 was honored by the Bednarik Award, which recognizes he most outstanding defensive player in college football.

The Atlanta, Ga., native is only 1-of-5 Conference USA players and 1-of-22 defensive ends on the initial list of 89. Meanwhile, there were zero other players from Kentucky schools.

Malone enters his fifth season as a Hilltopper, exercising his option for an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through four campaigns, he has become one of the most accomplished defenders in WKU history.

In 48 career games – 39 of them starts – he has made 255 total tackles (135 solo, 120 assisted) while racking up 42.5 tackles for loss and 25 sacks. Malone’s 25th sack on Nov. 14, 2020 vs. Southern Miss set the program’s FBS Era (since 2009) record, while his 42.5 tackles for loss entering the 2021 season stands only 0.5 behind Andrew Jackson for that record as well.

In 2019 he produced 99 tackles – including an FBS Era-record 21 for loss – to go along with 11.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries. He was voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, the first Hilltopper to earn the distinction since WKU joined the league prior to the 2014 campaign. His 99 total tackles were the third-most by an FBS defensive lineman in a single-season over the past decade.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

2021 Nagurski Watch List – C-USA Players
DeAngelo Malone – DE, WKU
Jamare Edwards – DT, Marshall
Tyler Grubbs – LB, LA Tech
Kristopher Moll – LB, UAB
Dion Novil – DT, North Texas

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football, follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and Facebook.

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