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Trio Selected as National Award Semifinalists

Photo by Kathy Reed
Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics 


Trio Selected as National Award Semifinalists

Hamler named Maxwell Award semifinalist, while Gross-Matos and Parsons selected as Bednarik semifinalist


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophomore wide receiver KJ Hamler (Pontiac, Mich.) has been selected as a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, while junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos (Spotsylvania, Va.) and sophomore linebacker Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, Pa.) were name semifinalists for the Bednarik Award.


Penn State is tied for the national lead among all colleges and universities with its seven Maxwell Award winners. The Nittany Lions’ four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation.


The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.


The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.


Hamler leads the team with 37 receptions for 620 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also been a key factor in the return game with 100 yards on punt return and 214 yards on kickoff return. Hamler ranks 38th in FBS with 120.13 all-purpose yards per game. His eight receiving scores are tops in the Big Ten and No. 12 in FBS. He was selected as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following the Michigan game.


Gross-Matos has 26 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on the season to go along with six quarterback hurries. In addition to his semifinalist status for the Bednarik, he is also a quarterfinalist for the Lott Impact Trophy. Gross-Matos was also selected as a Sporting News Midseason All-American and was second-team Midseason All-America by the Associated Press.


For the second-straight season, Parsons is leading the Nittany Lions in tackles with 57. He also has six tackles for loss, one sack, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. Parsons was named a Rivals Midseason All-American. He was selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Purdue game and second team after the Pitt victory.


The Nittany Lions are on off this weekend before visiting No. 13 Minnesota Nov. 9. The Nittany Lions’ remaininghome schedule includes Big Ten games against Indiana (Nov. 15) and Rutgers (Nov. 30 – Senior Day).

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