5 Interesting Facts About Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews

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5 Interesting Facts About Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews is certainly an interesting person who plays with an explosiveness that is unmatched in the NFL. His ability to overpower offensive lineman, beat double teams and never let up is what has made him one of the most feared pass rushers in the league. Obviously, the Packers are fortunate to have him on their side.

The best part about Matthews is that he seems true to who he is. The player fans see on the field is the same person that is in the locker room. He is simply someone who does everything 100 percent, whether it is taking out quarterbacks or having fun with his teammates. He also makes sure that everyone knows he is from southern California, as Aaron Rodgers once said.

What also makes Matthews great is that he had to work very hard to get to where he is. Nobody just gave him a chance to make something happen. He always had to earn his opportunities. That is a huge reason why he is such a successful football player.

Obviously, he had plenty of help along the way from coaches and family members. One person in particular is Packers linebackers coach Kevin Greene, who will be the first to say that Matthews has the most talent of any pass rusher he has ever seen. Everyone is quick to point out that Matthews has an endless motor, but there is no question Greene is the man who keeps it fueled if the five-year player begins to slow down.

Make sure to click through the slideshow to see five interesting facts about Matthews.

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5. Quite the Birthday

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Matthews was born on May 14, 1986. The year is not as significant as the date itself. Matthews shares a birthday with several famous people including George Lucas, Roy Halladay, Tony Siragusa, Cate Blanchett, Frank Gore and Mark Zuckerberg.

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4. Sack Record

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Matthews holds the Packers rookie record for most sacks (10). He also is on pace to become Green Bay’s all-time leader in quarterback take downs, which is held by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (74.5). With his new contract that keeps him in Green Bay through the 2018 season, it is not a matter of if, but rather, when he will break Gbaja-Biamila’s record. Matthews currently sits fourth on the all-time list with a total of 45.5 sacks behind Aaron Kampman (54). He should break the record at some point during the 2015 season if he can stay healthy, which has proved to be somewhat of a problem recently.

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3. 2009 NFL Draft

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Many were shocked to see the Packers trade a second and two third round draft picks to the New England Patriots so that they could grab Matthews with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. A big reason for this was because Matthews was relatively unknown prior to the draft, despite starting 10 games his senior year at USC. Looking back at that draft the only surprise is that four linebackers were taken ahead of Matthews, including one who is no longer in the league.

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2. What's in a Name?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Many know that Matthews shares the same first name as his father and grandfather. However, what many people may not realize is that his first name is not Clay. Like his father and grandfather before him, his real first name is William. Another significant fact about the Matthews name is that the word “bloodline” is frequently attached to it. The reason for this is because his grandfather, father and uncle Bruce Matthews all played in the NFL. His younger brother Casey Matthews and cousin Kevin Matthews also spent some time playing professional football.

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1. Lead up to NFL Not All Hopes and Dreams

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Matthews played football at Agoura High School where his dad was the defensive coordinator at the time. Many would believe this gave Matthews an advantage, but unfortunately, that was not the case. Since he did not have a growth spurt until his senior year, his father decided not to start him through most of high school. This greatly affected his chances of playing Division I college football. However, he was able to walk-on at USC, which is the same school his father and uncle played for in college.

Matthews redshirted his first season, which turned out to be a great idea. He went on to become the only player in USC history to win the Special Teams Player of the Year Award in three consecutive seasons. The garnered attention finally gave USC the insight to give him a scholarship his junior year.

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