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Yetur Gross-Matos Discusses Future With Carolina Panthers In One-On-One Interview

Shortly after being drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the No. 38 overall pick in the NFL Draft, Yetur Gross-Matos sat down with Panthers team reporter Kritsten Balboni for a one-on-one interview.

The Nittany Lion explained just how excited he was when his phone rang and he learned that Matt Rhule and the Panthers were going to select him with their second round pick.

“I felt my phone vibrate, and I’d been waiting on the call for what seemed like forever,” Gross-Matos said. “Matt Rhule called me and told me I was going to be a Carolina Panther and I had a hard time even finding the words. I can’t wait to be a part of this program.”

The star defensive end, who elected to skip his senior season at Penn State after putting up 13.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior, was considered one of the top defensive prospects in this year’s draft. He and his family’s pure joy was captured on camera on Friday night.

Gross-Matos explained that his immediate family, his girlfriend, and his longtime-trainer were there with him to celebrate.

After discussing the initial excitement, the Nittany Lion explained two important members of his family that he had on his mind during his achievement. Gross-Matos tragically lost his father Michael Gross and older brother Chelal as a child, and he made it clear that he’s been striving to succeed for both of them and the rest of his family.

“It means everything. I kind of thought I wasn’t going to get emotional, try not to cry, but just having that moment with those people around me, I couldn’t help myself,” Gross-Matos said. “This is what I’ve been chasing for a long time. To finally make that happen and be at this stage in my life, it’s an incredible feeling.”

The athletic defender now joins a team that drafted Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown in the first round, and is still trying to build up on that side of the ball. Aside from his pure talent, Gross-Matos discussed exactly what he’ll bring to the Panthers organization as a whole.

“[The Panthers] are getting someone who really wants to be great,” Gross-Matos said. “[I’m going] to take as much as I can from the older guys on the team, coaches, anybody who’s got something for me to get better. [I’m] someone who’s going to make an impact on the team, in the locker room, on the field, and just a positive guy all around.”

Other than watching him sack quarterbacks at Beaver Stadium, plenty of Penn State students have likely seen Gross-Matos walking around campus with a pair of Crocs on. Balboni got word that the defensive end was a fan of that footwear, and she asked him to take a look at her rainbow-colored crocs.

Gross-Matos compared those with his own pair of gold Crocs that had several jibbitz attached to them, and he even said he’d get a pair of the rainbow ones if they were sold in his size.

If you want to see the full interview of Gross-Matos discussing everything from football to crocs, check it out here.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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