Oregon Ducks linebacker Derrick Malone, a redshirt junior from Colton High School (Colton, California), enters his fourth season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Malone was a star defensive back and running back in the San Andreas League. Malone started his career on defense recording 44 tackles, one interception, four pass deflections and one fumble recovery as a sophomore. As a junior he rushed for 1,063 yards on 136 carries (7.8 YPC) and 11 touchdowns along with 41 tackles, two interceptions, 11 pass deflections and four fumble recoveries on defense. Malone guided his Yellowjackets to a 10-2 season as a senior, recording 44 tackles, two interceptions, 17 pass deflections and three fumble recoveries on defense. Offensively he rushed for 1,501 yards on 137 carries (11.0 YPC) and 19 touchdowns.
Malone was listed as a three-star prospect by Scout and Rivals. Scout praised Malone for his closing speed, instincts and size describing him as “a two-way threat who’s best position is safety. Loves to hit and is a physical presence in the secondary.”
Malone had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Nevada, UNLV, Utah, Washington and Washington State amongst other Division 1 programs before signing with the Ducks. It’s interesting to note that Matt Lubick was the Sun Devils’ primary recruiter for Malone when he was at ASU. Lubick is the current wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator for the Ducks.
In 2010, Malone joined the Ducks for summer conditioning, enrolling in June, but spent his first season in Eugene as a redshirt.
In 2011, Malone appeared in all 14 of the Ducks’ games. He finished the season with 15 tackles (10 unassisted, five assisted) along with one tackle for loss, one interception for 14 yards and six pass deflections. He also went on to receive Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention.
In 2012, Malone appeared in 12 of the team’s 13 games including one start against Washington in replace of Michael Clay. Malone finished the season with 41 tackles (22 unassisted, 19 assisted), one tackle for loss and one pass deflection. His career game came against Colorado when he had a high of nine tackles and his one interception.
Malone missed out on the 2013 Oregon Spring Game, but should be completely ready for the start of the season.
Going into the 2013 season, Malone figures to earn one of the starting ILB jobs. It’ll like be the spot left vacant by Clay’s graduation.