Macon recognized as NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year

Arizona Western sophomore Patrick Macon was recognized Monday by the NJCAA Football Committee as the 2016 Spalding® NJCAA Football Defensive Player of the Year.

A dynamic playmaker throughout the season, Macon anchored the Matadors’ top-ranked defense that held opposing offenses to just 166.5 yards per game. Arizona Western was second against the pass and fourth against the run, giving up 97.6 and 68.9 yards per game, respectively. Macon and the Matadors boasted the second-best scoring defense in the land, surrendering an average of 9.4 points per game.

Leading the nation with 27.5 tackles-for-loss on the year, Macon’s ability to disrupt an offense was unmatched across the NJCAA landscape. The linebacker also topped the national leaderboard with nine forced fumbles while no other player in the country had more than five. Macon’s 122 tackles were fourth-most in the nation, while his 59 solo takedowns cracked the top 25. The Millington, Tennessee, native proved to be a nightmare for quarterbacks, recording nine sacks, seven pass breakups and an interception.

During the Matadors’ march to an unbeaten regular season, Macon had a number of impressive performances but perhaps none matched the effort he put on display in a mid-October 59-12 rout of Phoenix (Ariz.). He racked up 16 tackles – including 13 solo and a career-high five for a loss – and forced two Bears’ fumbles. Despite falling 25-22 to Garden City (Kan.) in the NJCAA Championship Game, the star linebacker managed to tally five tackles and break up a pass in that affair.

Following two seasons in Yuma, Arizona, Macon is ready to take the next step in his collegiate playing career. After receiving offers from numerous NCAA FBS programs, he signed a letter of intent with Oklahoma State last week.

About the Spalding® NJCAA Football Player of the Year Awards
Since 1990, the NJCAA Football Coaches Association has recognized the top football player in the country with the NJCAA Football Player of the Year award. The award was split into an offensive and defensive honor beginning in 2000. Spalding® partnered with the NJCAA in 2013 to become the title sponsor of both awards.

Spalding® in the Collegiate Football Market
Spalding® is currently the official football of the Arena Football League (AFL) – a distinction held since 2004. In the collegiate market, Spalding® is the official football the Southwestern Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Div. II) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II). Spalding® is a trademark of Russell Brands, LLC.

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