Washington State’s Hercules Mata’afa and Idaho’s Aikeem Coleman were recently added to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given annually the best defensive end in college football.
A total of 34 players made the initial watch list, which was released last week.
Mata’afa earned All-Pac-12 honors last season after finishing fifth in the league with 13.5 tackles-for-loss and a team-high five sacks. The redshirt junior enters 2017 with 24.5 tackles-for-loss – second-most among active Pac-12 players. Mata’afa, a native of Lahaina, Hawaii, was also included on the Bronco Nagurski Trophy watch list, given to the nation’s Defensive Player of the Year, the Bednarik Award watch list (given to the country’s top defensive player) and the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List.
Coleman, a senior who transferred to Idaho from East Mississippi Community College in 2016, was the Sun Belt Conference’s Newcomer of the Year last season after leading the Vandals in tackles for loss and sacks. His eight sacks were fourth most in the conference.
Mata’afa is one of only five Pac-12 players on the watch list. Coleman is the lone Sun Belt player and one of two players from non-Power Five schools.