WKU Football senior DeAngelo Malone was named among the very best defenders in the country on the 2020 Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday morning. Now in its 26th season, the Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football.

Malone is only 1-of-19 defensive ends and 1-of-7 from Conference USA out of 90 total players on the initial list. Voters include NCAA head coaches and members of the Maxwell Football Club, as well as sportswriters and sportscasters from across the country.

En route to becoming the first Hilltopper to be voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Year since joining the league prior to the 2014 campaign, Malone helped anchor the conference’s top scoring defense in 2019. He produced 99 total tackles — including 21 for loss — with 11.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

The Atlanta, Ga., native set the WKU FBS Era record (since 2009) in tackles for loss, while becoming only the fourth defender in all-time Hilltopper history with double-digit quarterback takedowns. Meanwhile, his 99 total tackles were the third-most by an FBS defensive lineman in a single-season over the past decade.

Among all returning players to college football in 2020, Malone ranks fourth with 11.5 sacks and third with 21 tackles for loss. In addition, he is only 1-of-3 returning conference Defensive Players of the Year out of the 10 FBS leagues.

Starting with the season opener against UT 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 wire-to-wire grind, as nine of the team’s original 11 FBS opponents competed in a bowl game in 2019.

Please visit www.WKUTickets.com for more information on season tickets for WKU’s six-home game schedule. For your assistance, the WKU Ticket Office can be reached during normal business hours by phone (1-800-5-BIGRED), text (1-800-524-4733) or email (tickets@wku.edu).

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