YUMA, Ariz. – At some point, you run out of superlatives to describe Patrick Macon. The Arizona Western linebacker won almost every award imaginable, led the Matador football team to the national championship game, graduated and transferred to Oklahoma State. Today he was named the 2017 David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year , given to the top male student-athlete in the NJCAA. He is the first Matador to earn the NJCAA’s top honor.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” Macon said in the NJCAA press release. “When you are a student-athlete, student comes first, and I made sure of that. Arizona Western helped me reach the next level because the coaching staff challenged me.”
“Patrick is a phenomenal leader and is the type of kid who is going to get the job done no matter what,” said Matador head coach Tom Minnick. “Patrick willed himself to get things done and always kept his eyes on the prize. He is an exceptional student, athlete and person, and he has left his mark on Matador football.”
Macon was a game changer on defense throughout the year for AWC. He was named the Spalding ® NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year , an NJCAA First Team All-American , the El Toro Bowl Defensive MVP for the Matadors and the Co-Western States Football League Defensive Player of the Year .
He finished with more than 200 tackles in his Matador career. As a sophomore, Macon lived in the backfield and led the nation with 27.5 tackles for loss and a whopping nine forced fumbles. The Matadors held teams to 9.4 points and 166.5 yards per game.
Macon attacked every assignment full force both in the classroom and on the field. He graduated with his associate’s in one-and-a-half years from AWC. As a freshman, he received the NJCAA Exemplary Achievement Award for his work in the classroom.
He plans to study business while at Oklahoma State.
The Mats went 11-1 during the season and made it to the NJCAA Football Championship game. The team is gearing up for the 2017 season and has been ranked in the top five  of--in multiple preseason polls .
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.