Mata’afa named Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalist - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Mata’afa named Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalist

Photo: Washington State Athletics Photo: Washington State Athletics

By Washington State Athletics

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Washington State defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa was named one of 15 players to watch for The Walter Camp Foundation's 2017 Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the country. WSU quarterback Luke Falk received the same recognition last season.

Mata'afa leads the Pac-12 Conference and is third in the country with 21.5 tackles-for-loss while his 9.5 sacks also pace the conference and are tied for fifth-most in the nation. The redshirt-junior from Lahaina, Hawaii has record multiple tackles-for-loss in eight of the 11 games this season and recently earned Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after making five tackles-for-loss with three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in the win at Utah.

The Cougars are 9-2, ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press, own the nation's No. 10 ranked defense who leads the country with 94 tackles-for-loss, is second with 27 takeaways and tied for third with 35 sacks.

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.   A list of five finalists will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 29, and the winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 7.

The 15-player watch list includes six quarterbacks, five running backs and four defensive players. Fifteen different schools and eight conferences are represented on the list.

Walter Camp, "The Father of American football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side.  The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org,@WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

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