Hankins Named Thorpe Defensive Player of the Week

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior defensive back Matt Hankins has been named the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week for his play in No. 3 Iowa’s 23-20 win over No. 4 Penn State. The announcement was made Thursday by the Jim Thorpe Award and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition, Hankins was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, and the Bronko Nagurski national Defensive 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. Hankins was also recognized as the Thorpe Award Player of the Week for his play against 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.

Iowa celebrates Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 16, hosting Purdue (2:36 p.m. CT, ABC). The contest is sold out.