DALLAS (FWAA) – Cornerback Matt Hankins
made a fourth-down stop late in the game and then one of Iowa's
four interceptions as the No. 3 Hawkeyes posted a 23-20 win over
No. 4 Penn State. That effort, plus five total tackles that keyed
the Hawkeyes' defense in the come-from-behind win, earned Hankins
the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week
honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 9, as selected by the
Football Writers Association of America.
|Iowa's Matt Hankins (Iowa
This is the sixth time for an Iowa player to earn this weekly
honor and the 13th time teammates have been honored in the same
season. Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell earned the award two weeks
ago after the Hawkeyes' 24-14 win over Colorado State. They are
the school's first weekly honorees since 2017 and have been added
to this season's Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
Hankins, a 6-foot, 185-pound senior corner from Lewisville, Texas,
stopped consecutive Penn State drives in the fourth quarter to help
seal Iowa's win. Iowa had already rallied from a 17-3 deficit to
take its 23-20 lead when Penn State took the ball with 6:26 left.
After the Nittany Lions drove to the Iowa 47-yard line, Hankins
was credited with a solo tackle on a fourth-and-three play with
3:39 left. Then on its next drive deep on its own end, Hankins'
interception, his third of the season, came at the PSU 25 on fourth-and-10.
He had five total tackles, including three solo stops. Hankins,
who had two interceptions in Iowa's earlier win at then-No. 9 Iowa
State, has started 22 consecutive games with 33 career starts. Iowa
has an FBS-leading 16 interceptions through its six games, and Hankins'
three picks are tied for sixth among individuals. He is tied for
eighth at Iowa with 20 total tackles and has one pass break-up.
Iowa hosts Purdue for its sold-out Homecoming game Saturday at
2:30 p.m. CT on ABC.
Each Tuesday during the regular season, the FWAA has selected
a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce three finalists
for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The national defensive
player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part
of the 2021 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy
at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree
on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since
1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary
two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated
college football then became a star for professional football's
Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter
member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers
and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works
to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards
and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million
to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
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2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, DE, Georgia
Weekend of Sept. 11: Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
Weekend of Sept. 18: Jared Bartlett, DE, West Virginia
Weekend of Sept. 25: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 2: Khoury Bethley, S, Hawaii
Weekend of Oct. 9: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 16: Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy (All-Time Winners, Finalists and Players of the Week)
• Download the Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree logo:
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