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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte 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 email@example.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.
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2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, DT, 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
Weekend of Oct. 23: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/LB, Oregon
Weekend of Oct. 30: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State
Weekend of Nov. 6: Steven Jones Jr., CB, App State
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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