Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez has grown into an integral part of the Cowboy defense, and after being selected to the second team All-Big 12 in back-to-back seasons, he has been named to the 2021 Butkus Award Preseason Watch List for the second straight season.
The Butkus Award is given to the nation’s top linebacker, and Malcolm Rodridguez is one of just seven selections for the entire Big 12. Rodriguez is one of a few seniors who decided to play an extra season due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 ruling, and he enters the 2021 campaign as the most experienced player on the Oklahoma State defense.
Starting every game for the last two seasons, Rodriguez recorded 82 tackles, 7 for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 fumbles forced, and 1 fumble recovered. His production earned him the status of Team Captain as voted upon by his teammates, but it’s not just his stats that make him a great leader.
Back in March, Cowboy football head coach Mike Gundy spoke of Rodriguez saying, “His leadership and his input with the young players should be valuable.” Experience is one of the best teachers, and Malcolm Rodriguez has plenty of it. As a result, he can more easily turn around and share his experiences with his younger teammates, and having that type of leader at the linebacker position can make a defense deadly.