IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior defensive back Matt Hankins has been named the Bronko Nagurski National Player of the Week following No. 3 Iowa’s 23-20 win over No. 4 Penn State. The announcement was made Tuesday. In addition, Hankins was also named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Conference Player of the Week.
Hankins recorded five tackles in Iowa’s win over the Nittany Lions, including three solo stops and two assists, along with Iowa’s fourth and final interception of the day. Hankins was credited with a solo tackle on a Penn State fourth-and-three attempt with 3:39 remaining, stopping a drive that reached the Iowa 45-yardline.
Hankins (6-foot, 185-pounds) then stopped Penn State’s next possession with an interception on fourth down, his third of the season. Hankins had two interceptions earlier this season in Iowa’s 27-17 win at No. 9 Iowa State.
A native of Lewisville, Texas, Hankins has started 22 consecutive games and has 33 career starts. He returned in 2021 for a fifth season. He has totaled 188 career tackles and six career thefts. He is part of an Iowa defense that has a nation-leading 16 interceptions through six games.
This is the fifth time a Hawkeye player has earned this weekly honor and the second time in just three weeks. Hawkeye junior linebacker Jack Campbell received the honor after Iowa’s 24-14 win over Colorado State on Sept. 25. Prior to that, Josey Jewell was the last Hawkeye to receive the honor in 2017. Iowa has had a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist in two of the last four seasons (Daviyon Nixon in 2020; Jewell in 2017).
Iowa celebrates Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 16, hosting Purdue (2:30 p.m. CT, ABC). The contest is sold out.