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Hercules Mata’afa named to Ted Hendricks Award watch list

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The watch list honors continue to roll in for the Cougs.

NCAA Football: California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, but Cougar football is just 11 days away. That’s a big day, not only for the most obvious reasons, but it also means that it’s time for the previews to stop and the actual games to begin.

But until then, we have to get excited by the things that sustain a college football fan in August: training camp recaps and watch lists. This story is about the latter.

On Tuesday, Washington State defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa was named to the Ted Hendricks award watch list. The award, given the top defensive end in college football, announced their 34 player list Tuesday. Other players honored include Aikeem Coleman from Idaho and USC’s Rasheem Green.

The redshirt junior is coming off of a stellar 2016 with the Cougs. The Hawaii native finished fifth in the Pac-12 with 13.5 tackles and a team-high 5 sacks. He enters 2017 with 24.5 tackles for loss, 2nd most among active players in the conference.

The Hendricks is just the latest on a long list of award watch lists for Mata’afa. Earlier this offseason he was named to the Nagurski and Bednarik watch lists (both given to the top overall defensive player) as well as the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year watch list.

The winner will be announced on December 6.

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