Penn State football defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos has cracked Sports Illustrated’s Top-100 college football players heading in 2019.
The Penn State football program is turning a page in the 2019 NCAA season — mostly because they lost a few key contributors. On the offensive side of the ball, they are missing some obvious prospects. On the defensive side of the ball, they have lost some key contributors in Shareef Miller and Nick Scott. However, unlike the offense, the defense is still expected to be productive.
That’s not a knock on the Nittany Lions offense. Unfortunately, their big question mark at the quarterback position is what makes their offense an unknown factor as of now. The defense will be a different story, though. On that side of the ball, Penn State knows their strong areas.
We see the offseason hype for their linebacker, Micah Parsons as of late, and the buzz that he’s garnered is undoubtedly warranted. But one player who hasn’t been talked about as much amongst the fans has been the Junior defensive end, Yetur Gross-Matos. That’s not to say that people have forgotten about Matos, per se. But soon enough, everybody will be reminded just how good he is up front for the Lions defense.
Despite the quiet offseason though, Gross-Matos hasn’t fallen off in the eyes of some major publications. In fact, Sports Illustrated recently placed the Penn State pass rusher on their Top-100 college football players list as the 2019 season approaches. The full list has yet to be released, but we got our hands on the bottom 50. And coming in at No. 69 is PSU’s own.
An explanation on the placement:
“Last year Gross-Matos became the 11th player in Penn State history to record 20 tackles for loss in a single season; only eight players in the FBS had more. He is quick, explosive and strong enough to bear the playmaking expectations for a Penn State defense short on superstars.”
For reference, Gross-Matos played out of his mind last year. He recorded 20 tackles-for-losses as mentioned above, and also collected a team-high of eight sacks during the 2018 season. He fell just outside of the top five for Lions’ total tackles as he ranked sixth overall, with 54 tackles. He only trailed Cameron Brown, Nick Scott, Garrett Taylor, Jan Johnson, and Micah Parsons.