Jordan Matthews has been the model of consistency at Vanderbilt, and after their 22-6 win over Kentucky in which Matthews had a career-high 12 receptions, the Madison, AL native is four catches away from the SEC career mark for receptions.
Former Vanderbilt receiver Earl Bennett is the record holder with 236 receptions, but Matthews is about to pass him, as he has passed many in the record books this season.
Earlier this season, Matthews broke the SEC career yardage mark held by former Georgia receiver Terrence Edwards and owns many Vanderbilt records, including career touchdowns (22) and single season yards set in 2012 with 1,323. He also became the first receiver in school history with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons after the 141 yards against the Wildcats put him at 1,076.
Matthews is on pace to lead the SEC in receptions for a second straight year, as he owns a 20-catch lead on LSU receiver Jarvis Landry. With two regular season games and a bowl game — the third straight for Vanderbilt — still to play Matthews has a shot to crack the 100-yard catch barrier after having 94 a season ago.
He needs 17 receptions in the final three games, but the next one on the schedule is at rival Tennessee, as the Volunteers need a win to remain eligible for the postseason. History is likely to be made that day, but Matthews is focused one game at a time.
“It’s kinda hard for me to soak it in right now because we’re so week-to-week,” said Matthews to Al.com, who is projected as a second-round NFL draft pick this spring. “I’m always thinking about the next play. It’s something I’ll be able to answer better once my career is over or when I’m old.”
Matthews is a great pro prospect as a result of his great size at 6-foot-3, 206 pounds, and consistent production; his attention to detail makes him an exceptional route runner and his intangibles are off the charts. He could be taken in late in the first round in the NFL 2014 Draft with a strong time in the 40 at the combine and his pro day.
Before we start projecting his future, however, the present is awfully good, and history will be made in Neyland Stadium Saturday evening.
Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.