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Gross-Matos Named to Hendricks Watch List

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Junior among the candidates for the nation’s best defensive end


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos (Spotsylvania, Va.) is among the candidates for the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation’s top defensive end.


The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. It is in the spirit of Ted Hendricks’ aggressive style of play, winning attitude and determination that the Defensive End of the Year Award for college football’s premier defensive end is presented. Penn State’s lone winner of the Hendricks Award is Carl Nassib in 2015, while Michael Haynes (2002), Tamba Hali (2005), Maurice Evans (2007) and Aaron Maybin (2008) were finalists for the honor.


Gross-Matos, who is also on the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy preseason watch lists, claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors from the conference’s media last season. The junior finished second in the Big Ten and No. 12 in FBS with 1.5 tackles for loss per game in 2018. He was also eighth in the Big Ten and No. 47 nationally in sacks per game (0.62). Gross-Matos became the 11th Nittany Lion to record 20 tackles for loss in a season (12th occurrence). He is tied with Bruce Clark (1978), Todd Atkins (1994), LaVar Arrington (1999) and Aaron Maybin (2008) for eighth place on Penn State’s season tackles for loss list. Against Indiana in 2018, Gross-Matos had a career-high 10 tackles, the most tackles for a Penn State defensive end since Carl Nassib had 10 stops at Temple in 2015.


Nine different Nittany Lions have been named to preseason watch lists. They include: senior linebackerCam Brown – Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker); senior punter Blake Gillikin – Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter); Allstate AFCA Good Works Team; senior defensive tackle Robert Windsor – Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Outland Trophy (best college football interior lineman); junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos – Hendricks Award (best defensive end), Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year), Lott IMPACT Trophy (National Defensive Player of the Year on and off the field); junior wide receiver KJ Hamler – Maxwell Award (National Player of the Year), Biletnikoff Award (outstanding wide receiver), Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player in major college football); junior center Michal Menet – Rimington Trophy (top center); sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth – Mackey Award (outstanding collegiate tight end); sophomore linebackerMicah Parsons – Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year), Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker); head coach James Franklin – Dodd Trophy (Coach of the Year).


The Nittany Lions’ home schedule features three non-conference games and four Big Ten Conference match-ups. The Nittany Lions open the season against Idaho (Aug. 31; 3:30 p.m.), Buffalo (Sept. 7; 7:30 p.m.) and the 100th all-time meeting with Pittsburgh (Sept. 14; noon) in non-conference action. In Big Ten play, Penn State welcomes Purdue (Oct. 5; noon), Michigan (Oct. 19), Indiana (Nov. 15) and Rutgers (Nov. 30) to Happy Valley.


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