Middleton Named To Hendricks Watch List
Oct. 19, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton has been named to the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year watch list. Middleton is one of 37 players on the list, which will be trimmed to five or six finalists in November before the award is presented on Dec. 5.
Middleton is one of just eight sophomores on the list, which includes five other Big Ten defensive ends. Maurice Evans (Penn State), Vernon Gholston (Ohio State), Brandon Graham (Michigan), Jonal Saint-Dic (Michigan State) and Matt Shaughnessy (Wisconsin) are all on the watch list as well.
Middleton received his first start in the season opener vs. Indiana State, picked up the first two sacks of his career and has been the Hoosiers' most disruptive defensive force ever since. The sophomore right end out of Pike High School in Indianapolis leads the Big Ten and is second nationally with his 9.5 sacks. After posting a career-high 2.5 at Iowa, Middleton recorded one sack against Minnesota, a team that allowed just three sacks in five games before facing the Hoosiers, and added another one at Michigan State.
His 9 1/2 sacks move him into fourth place on the single-season IU sack list and are the most in a season since current Chicago Bear Adewale Ogunleye collected 10 in 1997. Middleton is just 1/2 sack away from becoming the fourth Hoosier to ever collect double-digit sacks in a season and is on pace to eclipse Van Waiters' school record of 14 set in 1987.
In addition to his performance against ISU, Middleton reached the two-sack mark again vs. Akron. He saved perhaps his most impressive feat for the team's victory at Western Michigan, where he scooped up a fumble forced by junior defensive tackle Greg Brown and rumbled 44 yards for his first career touchdown. The score advanced the Hoosiers' lead to 17-7 in the second quarter and was the first fumble TD return by an IU defensive player since Troy Grosfield brought home a 15-yard fumble against Wisconsin on Sept. 30, 2006.
Middleton also shares 21st nationally and fifth in the Big Ten with 10 tackles for loss this season. The total is the most for an IU defensive lineman since Jodie Clemons' 12 in 2003.
Ted Hendricks was a three-time All-American at defensive end for the University of Miami before advancing to the NFL, where he played from 1969-83. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.