Iowa cornerback Matt Hankins named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week

The senior picked off a pass late in Iowa’s win over Penn State.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa defensive back Matt Hankins runs with the football after intercepting a pass alongside defensive back Jack Koerner during a football game between No. 3 Iowa and No. 4 Penn State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 23-20.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Iowa senior cornerback Matt Hankins is the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

Hankins picked off a pass and was credited with five tackles in Iowa’s 23-20 win over Penn State. The fifth-year starter’s pick game was 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 Nittany Lion drive that crossed midfield.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder 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 then-No. 9 Iowa State.

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 interceptions. He is part of an Iowa defense that has a nation-leading 16 interceptions through six games.

The weekly honor is the first for Hankins, who becomes the fourth Hawkeye to earn conference accolades this season.

Cornerback Riley Moss was named Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 34-6 season-opening win over No. 17 Indiana. Punter Tory Taylor shared the Special Teams Player of the Week honor following his performance in Iowa’s 27-17 win at No. 9 Iowa State. Linebacker Jack Campbell earned the weekly defensive award for his performance in Iowa’s win over Colorado State.

Iowa celebrates Homecoming on Saturday and hosts Purdue (2:30 p.m., ABC) in a sold-out game at Kinnick Stadium.