Jake Matthews was chiefly responsible last year for keeping Johnny Manziel upright. After off-the-charts success in that category, the Texas A&M left tackle was taken with the sixth pick in Thursday’s NFL draft, meaning he’ll now be responsible for protecting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Here’s what you need to know about Matthews:
1. He Was an All-American at Texas A&M
Matthews broke into the Aggies’ starting lineup as a true freshman in 2010 and never gave up a starting spot, starting at right tackle in 2011 and 2012 before moving to left tackle in 2013. He was a key piece of A&M’s high-powered offense and a key contributor to Manziel’s eye-opening success the past two seasons.
USA Today and the Football Writers Association both named Matthews a first-team All-American. He was also a two-time All-SEC selection.
2. He Comes From an Awesome Football Family
There aren’t many families in history that have produced more NFL talent than the Matthewses. Jake’s father, Bruce Matthews, was a Hall of Fame guard for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans.
Jake’s grandfather, Clay Matthews Sr., was an offensive lineman for the 49ers His uncle, Clay Matthews Jr., played 19 NFL seasons; and his cousins, Clay Matthews, III and Casey Matthews, are linebackers for the Packers and Eagles, respectively.
3. He Was a Consensus Top 10 Pick
Matthews, who graduated last December with a 3.2 GPA from the university’s Mays School of Business, was the 2014 recipient of the President’s Award, which honors an athlete for contributions in athletics and academics.
Watch the video above, narrated by A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, for a recap of Matthews’ accomplishments.
He was also a finalist for the 2013 Senior Class Award, which awards a senior for academic success, community service, overall character and athletic success. (Penn State guard John Urschel won the award.)
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