Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos has been named to the Ted Hendricks’ Award’s most recent watch list. The Ted Hendricks Award is annually given out to the country’s top defensive end.
After playing last year and not truly understanding the idiosyncrasies of Penn State’s defensive system, Gross-Matos has come into his own in 2018 and has become not just one of the Big Ten’s, but one of the country’s top defensive ends.
Through the Nittany Lions first 11 games, Gross-Matos amassed 50 tackles to go along with 16.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. He’ll look to become just the third Nittany Lion since 2000 to rack up 20 or more tackles for loss in a single season over the last two games, joining the duo of Maurice Evans and Aaron Maybin.
Nationally, his 16.5 tackles for loss is tied for 14th in the country. He ranks second in the Big Ten behind only Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes who enters this weekend with 20.5.
The most recent watch list consists of 36 names. The committee in charge of the award’s watch list, finalist and eventual winner will vote for the finalists in the final two weeks of November before the winner is announced on December 12.
If Gross-Matos does win the award, he’ll be the second Nittany Lion to do so, joining Carl Nassib who won the award in 2015. Nassib ended that season with 19.5 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks.