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Malone earns top honor in East-West Shrine Game

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Former Sierra High standout Nigel Malone, a starting cornerback for Big 12 champion Kansas State, was named the top defensive player in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game.

Photo courtesy of K-State Athletics Communications/

POSTED January 21, 2013 11:55 p.m.

Nigel Malone got to go out with a win and another award in his final collegiate game.

The Kansas State product and Manteca native earned the E. Jack Spaulding Award for Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 88th Annual East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback helped the West prevail, 28-13.

The West squad went into halftime in full control with a 21-3 lead thanks in large part to Malone’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown. He picked off Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron just 15 seconds after West QB Alex Scott of Arizona connected with Chad Bumphis for a 57-yard TD. Bumphis of Mississippi State (4 receptions, 92 yards) was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein — the 2012 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist — joined Malone in the Shrine Game.

“I didn’t exactly finish how I wanted to in the Fiesta Bowl, but this meant a lot to come out here and play my last real college and come out with a ‘W’,” Malone said in an Associated Press report.

Kansas State (11-2) captured its third conference championship but was hammered by Oregon 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Malone was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which recognizes the nation’s top defensive back, in both of his seasons with K-State. The two-time All-Big 12 first-teamer tied two others for team-high honors with five interceptions after racking up seven as a junior.

Malone prepped at Sierra High where he was the team’s top receiver (52 receptions, 707 yards, 6 TDs) and defensive back (8 interceptions) during his senior year in 2007. He went on to star at junior college power San Francisco City.

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