SE: Malone, Chapman Continue Winning Ways
SE: Malone, Chapman Continue Winning Ways
Nov. 26, 2011
By Mark Janssen
K-State Sports Extra
They're not joined at the hip as some have suggested, but instead play on opposites sides of the field daring quarterbacks to chuck the football their way.
In 2009 and 2010, Nigel Malone and Allen Chapman played as City College of San Francisco's bookend cornerbacks. It was the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Chapman on one side, and the 5-10, 176-pound Malone on the other leading CCSF to a two-year record of 22-2.
Today, they're still together, and still winning, as teammates for the Kansas State Wildcats (9-2) as starting cornerbacks.
"I wouldn't call it a package deal, but we did want to play together again," said Chapman of how the duo arrived at K-State together. "I committed here first, but he actually signed first. I considered other colleges, but this was my first choice."
While Malone arrived on campus last winter and was able to take part in spring ball, Chapman didn't join the team until the start of August two-a-days when he arrived saying, "I'm not going to lie to you. I want to be All-Conference and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year like Daniel Thomas was."
That honor this year will likely go to Malone, who leads the Big 12 with his seven pass interceptions to go along with a total of 53 tackles, including seven for negative yards and nine passes broken up. Malone's seven interceptions also are tied for second nationally and are three more than any other defender in the Big 12.
Those numbers positioned Malone to be a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award making him the first Wildcat to be up for the honor since Terence Newman won the honor in 2002.
"It is definitely a great honor. Coming into the season that was pretty much the last thing that I was thinking about, but it feels good to just be thought of in that upper echelon group of corners," said Malone, who is the first Wildcat to have at least two interceptions in more than one game since DeMarcus Faggins in 2001. "I am always going to give testament to the coaches. We have a group of great guys that lead us out there every Saturday. They just put us in great position to make plays. Half of it is just luck and half of it is just being in the right place. So I give that to the coaches."
Chapman's resume includes 41 tackles with four passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble.
"We're far more similar than different," Chapman said of their styles. "I'm probably better playing the deep ball and he's better coming up on somebody."
But together, he added, "We came here to make an impact and win, and we have," said Chapman, a native of San Francisco. "I'm glad he's doing what he's doing and I'm proud of what I'm doing."
Malone, a product of Manteca, Calif., echoed his teammate's words by saying, "We're doing what we came here to do."
Of staying together at K-State, Chapman said, "We didn't grow up in the sandbox together, but we hit it off out of high school, and here we are today."
While Chapman says it took him until the Oklahoma State game to feel comfortable in the Wildcat system, coach Bill Snyder says that Malone took full advantage of the spring season and the summer workouts, which led him into a productive total first season.
"He has been very, very consistent during the course of the year," said the Wildcat coach. "That's not saying that he is not without his mistakes, but you just know what you're going to get with Nigel. He's very consistent with his play. Both of them take a lot of pride in their performance."
While high-profile players on one of the best teams in one of the best conferences, neither player drew a high degree of recruiting attention out of City College of San Francisco. Malone chose K-State over Kentucky and New Mexico, while Chapman had offers from Fresno State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico.
While others may be surprised at the adjustment made by Malone and Chapman, Chapman is not: "We were in a big-time passing conference. When you play junior college ball in California, you're up against some of the best players in the nation."
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