By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
RUSSELLVILLE — Senior wide receiver Xavier Malone was named the Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against Southeastern Oklahoma State Saturday, the league announced. The honor is the first of Malone’s HSU career and the team’s third player to be recognized this year.
Malone secured the honor by going for 163 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Both of Malone’s touchdown grabs came off 83 and 72 yard passes from quarterbacks Andrew Edwards and Landon Ledbetter, respectively. The 83-yard connection was the fourth longest passing play in HSU history and the longest since Al Lasker recorded a 97-yard catch-and-run in 2016.
On just 25 receptions, the Mound Bayou, Mississippi native has recorded 644 yards and eight touchdowns, seeing an average of 25.8 yards per reception. Malone’s numbers have established his as one of the most explosive wide outs in the nation, with his 128.8 yards per game good enough for fifth in the country and his eight receiving scores tied for first.
The former transfer from Northeast Mississippi Community College recorded 970 receiving yards in 2021, which was eighth most in program history. Currently, Malone is on pace for 1416 yards, which would put him third all-time at Henderson.
The Reddies will take their 4-1 record on the road to Ada, Oklahoma this weekend when they face East Central Saturday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. before a showdown with nationally ranked Harding in Searcy Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.