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Purdue at Penn State

Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

It’s been a big week for the Penn State defensive end.

It’s been quite the week for Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos . On Tuesday, he was named first-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. On Wednesday, he declared for the NFL Draft , where he has a strong chance of becoming a first round selection. The newsworthy week continued today, with Gross-Matos being named a finalist for the Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

Gross-Matos finished his junior season with 14 TFLs and 8.5 sacks. As a sophomore, Gross-Matos enjoyed a breakout season with eight sacks and 20 TFLs. After his standout sophomore campaign in 2018, it seemed like a forgone conclusion he would be ready to pursue his NFL dreams at the end of this season.

Gross-Matos joins fellow Nittany Lions Michael Haynes, Tamba Hali, Maurice Evans , Aaron Maybin and Carl Nassib as finalist for the award. Nassib , a former walk-on, took home the award in 2015.

The other finalist for the Hendricks Award are Utah’s Bradelee Anae, Baylor’s James Lynch , Boise State’s Curtis Weaver and Ohio State’s Chase Young. Young, who is also viewed as a Heisman finalist, is the likely winner this season after being touted as the nation’s best overall player by many pundits.

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