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Yetur Gross-Matos to leave Penn State for NFL draft, will play in bowl game

Gross-Matos, the Nittany Lions' leader in tackles for loss and sacks, made his announcement on the same day that he and teammate Micah Parsons made the All-Big Ten first team.

Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos tackles Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent.
Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos tackles Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent.Read moreMatthew Holst / MCT

On the same day he was named first-team all-Big Ten for the second consecutive season, Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos announced Tuesday he will forgo his final year of eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL draft.

Gross-Matos, a junior who leads the Nittany Lions in tackles for loss with 14 and sacks with 8 1/2, said he will remain with the Lions for their postseason bowl game.

In a statement on Twitter, Gross-Matos said he made his decision “after careful consideration and countless discussions with my coaches, family and other advisors.” He went on to say he has “promised my family and coach [James] Franklin that I will continue to pursue my Penn State degree.”

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Gross-Matos is considered a first-round pick in some mock drafts. named him the No. 19 player overall in its current 2020 ranking.

Two other Nittany Lions, tight end Pat Freiermuth and center Michal Menet, are draft-eligible but have announced they will return to the team next season.

Gross-Matos and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons both were named first-team all-conference in a vote of Big Ten coaches and media. The offensive honorees will be announced Wednesday.

Parsons, a sophomore from Harrisburg who leads the Nittany Lions in tackles with 95, also won the Butkus-Fitzgerald Award as Big Ten linebacker of the year.

Redshirt junior defensive end Shaka Toney, who starred at Imhotep Charter, was named second-team all-conference in the coaches’ vote. Toney finished the regular season with 6 ½ sacks, second on the Lions.

Three more Nittany Lions defenders made third-team all-conference. Linebacker Cam Brown and defensive tackle Robert Windsor were voted there by the coaches, and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields earned the honor in the media balloting.

The coaches’ list of honorable mentions included five from Penn State – Castro-Fields, linebacker Jan Johnson, cornerback John Reid and safeties Garrett Taylor and Lamont Wade. Brown, Johnson, Reid, Taylor, Toney, Wade and Windsor were named honorable mention by the media.