Maryland defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has been named to the national watch list for the Hendricks Award, given annually to college football's best defensive end.
A junior, Ngakoue is tied for third in the country with 8.5 sacks. Shifting from outside linebacker to defensive end in Maryland's new 4-3 defensive scheme, he's been a terror all year in the pass rush. He hasn't been quite as dominant against the run, but he's still managed to be a disrupter to opposing ground games. In the last month, he's dealt well with a couple of star running backs and offensive tackles, including Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott and Taylor Decker.
Since he committed to Maryland in 2013, Ngakoue's progression has been rapid. He had 2 sacks as a freshman, then 6 as a utility linebacker as a sophomore. As a junior, he's been the team's best player at any position.
Right now, Ngakoue needs four more sacks to break the program's all-time single-season record, held dually by Bruce Palmer (1978) and Mark Duda (1982). He has 17 sacks for his career, which is No. 12 in the program's record book.
If Ngakoue doesn't leave for the NFL after the year, he's got a very good shot at catching Andre Monroe (25) for the most sacks in the school's history. It'd require an injury or a drastic regression for him not to reach that mark.