Gross-Matos leaving PSU early for NFL
Yetur Gross-Matos has been a highly rated NFL prospect fore more than a year, making it no surprise the Penn State defensive end announced Tuesday that he’s declaring early for the draft.
Gross-Matos announced his intentions on Twitter. He is widely considered to be a first-round draft pick.
The junior also announced he will play in Penn State’s bowl game, which will be revealed Sunday.
“After careful consideration, countless discussions with my coaches, family and other advisors I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and declare for 2020 NFL draft,” Gross-Matos wrote on Twitter.
“I look forward to suiting up for the blue and white one final time in our bowl game,” he added.
Gross-Matos was named first-team all-Big Ten on Tuesday after helping lead the PSU defense to a strong season. He has 39 tackles (23 solo), 8 1/2 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries.
“Yetur has grown so much as a football player, leader and young man during his time at Penn State,” PSU coach James Franklin said in a university statement. “He has been a shining example of resiliency for his teammates and our staff for the way he has handled adversity in his life. We couldn’t be more proud of him and appreciate everything he has done for our program. We wish him nothing but the best in the NFL!”
Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer raved about Gross-Matos in a Twitter post.
“One of the greatest players I have (ever) coached,” Spencer wrote. “Tremendous work ethic and passion for the game of football. I can’t wait to see you sky rocket at the next level. I love the man that you have become. Wild Dogs for life. Stay blessed Lobo!!”
Gross-Matos has overcome incredible adversity in his life.
When he was just 2 years old, he fell off a boat into the water, and his biological father, Michael Gross, drowned while trying to save him.
When Yetur was 11, his 12-year-old brother Chelal was struck by lightning and killed at a Little League baseball game.
Gross-Matos’s story has been chronicled by the national media over the past year, including an emotional piece by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi earlier this season.
Through it all, Gross-Matos developed into an elite football player and one whose career now could be destined for NFL stardom.
“I am so appreciative of Coach Franklin and Coach Spencer for the opportunity to come to an outstanding university like Penn State,” Gross-Matos said in his statement. “I am so appreciative of Coach Franklin and Coach Spencer for the opportunity to come to an outstanding university like Penn State.
“Even though I am leaving, I have promised my family and Coach Franklin that I will continue to pursue my Penn State degree.”