Clay Matthews
Clay Matthews art
2009 Packers Active
Height 6 ft. 3 in. Position OLB
Weight 255 lb. Number 52
Born May 14, 1986
Birthplace Flag of the United States Northridge, California
Career information
College USC Southern California
Draft 2009  · Round: 1  · Pick: 26
Teams Packers helmet Green Bay Packers (2009–)
Matthews1 Matthews2 Matthews3
Color White Alternate
External links
Twitter icon  · NFL  · Packers  · Football icon  · TV icon

Clay Matthews III (born May 14, 1986 in Northridge, California) is a starting All-Pro outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Packers 26th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

In three seasons, Matthews has victimized NFL quarterbacks with 34 career sacks during the regular season and playoffs. In 2010, Matthews was voted as the Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year. His tenacious style and trademark long-hair, Matthews has become a fan favorite for Packers fans.

High school careerEdit

Matthews attended Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California. Physically, Matthews was a late bloomer. His father was the team's defensive coordinator, but declined to start his son because he was physically undersized. Matthews began developing physically his senior season, but only garnered interest from Division I FCS schools and local community colleges. He opted to follow in his father and uncle's footsteps and attend the University of Southern California and take a chance at walking on to the Trojans football team.

College careerEdit

Snapshot USC's Clay Matthews on SI cover
SI 2009 USC Linebackers

Matthews attended USC and played for the USC Trojan football team in

(2005-2008 seasons; 2004 redshirt). Matthews entered USC as a walk-on student athlete. During his first season, USC's 2004 National Championship season, he played only on the scout team and turned down several playing opportunities during garbage time during the fourth quarters of games in order to preserve his redshirt status and remaining seasons of NCAA eligibility. He remained a non-athletic scholarship (a "walk on"), reserve linebacker during the 2005 season, and played mainly on special teams. His hard work, enthusiasm, and genuine team spirit paid off and was recognized by the Trojan coaching staff, and he was granted full athletic scholarship status at the beginning of the 2006 season. Matthews continued to play reserve linebacker in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and made two starts in 2007 in place of injured teammate Brian Cushing. He was awarded USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and blocked two field goals.

At the beginning of the 2008 season, Matthews was used in a hybrid "Elephant" position, where Matthews would stand in the position of defensive end, but use the speed and tactics of a linebacker; the coaches had used Cushing in the position in a similar manner in 2006. The experiment was successful, as Matthews recorded 4.5 sacks. Furthermore, Matthews continued his spectacular special teams play and was awarded USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008, making him the only player in USC history to be awarded three consecutive Special Teams Player of the Year awards. Matthews was a participant in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was considered a top prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft.

Matthews was one of twelve senior USC football players, including the four linebackers Cushing, Maiava, Matthews and Maualuga, attending the by-invitation-only 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. Matthews, alongside fellow USC linebackers Rey Maualuga and Cushing, was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2009 NFL Draft Preview magazine, as all three were regarded as potential first round selections.

NFL Professional careerEdit

Packers Green Bay PackersEdit

Multimedia Clay Matthews 2009 Highlights

2009 seasonEdit

The Green Bay Packers traded with the New England Patriots to move up and draft Clay Matthews in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft with the 26th overall pick. Matthews would join nose guard B.J. Raji (who had been drafted 9th overall) into defensive coordinator Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme for the Packers 2009 season. It was the first time the Packers had selected two players in the first round since the 1993 NFL Draft.

Matthews scored his first touchdown during a Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings; Matthews stripped the ball from running back Adrian Peterson and ran the ball back for a score.

Matthews had arguably his best game in his young career in week 6 against the Detroit Lions. He made 3 tackles, assisted on 2 more and sacked Daunte Culpepper twice. He was nominated and won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award for his performance.

Clay Matthews Wallpaper

In Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys, Clay recovered 2 fumbles forced by cornerback Charles Woodson, and sacked Dallas quarterback Tony Romo to make him a nominee again for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. For the 2nd time in as many nominations, he was voted Rookie of the Week for Week 10.

Matthews was awarded the Week 13 NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Matthews had six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Packers' 27-14 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

In the Packers December 13 contest against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Matthews recorded his eighth sack of the season which put him into a three way tie with former Packers Tim Harris and Vonnie Holiday for the Most Sacks, Rookie, Season (1982–present). The following week Matthews recorded two more sacks versus the Pittsburgh Steelers to claim outright first place.

He was added to the NFC Pro Bowl squad, replacing Bears LB Lance Briggs. He is the first Packers rookie to earn a Pro Bowl selection since receiver James Lofton in 1978.

2010 seasonEdit

Multimedia Clay Matthews 1st-Half 2010 Highlights
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Matthews rarely participated in the preseason due to a leg injury. In Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Matthews recorded three sacks, then in Week 2, recorded three sacks against the Buffalo Bills. He was awarded with the NFL Defensive Player of the Month award for September 2010 for his effort in getting 6 sacks in the first two weeks of the 2010 season.

In Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys, Matthews caught a deflected pass for his first career interception, then ran it 62 yards for a touchdown.

After recording 13.5 sacks through 15 games in 2010, Matthews was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl NFC roster. It was his second consecutive selection. He would also be selected to the NFL All-Pro Team and named the Sporting News NFL Defensive Player of the Year, however he finished a close second (17 votes to 15) to Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting, which is notable because both players led their defenses' to Super Bowl XLV.

He set the Packers' record for most sacks in a single postseason with 3.5. In the Super Bowl, won by the Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded 3 tackles, a pass deflection, and a game changing forced fumble. On the first play of the 4th quarter with the Steelers driving to take the lead with the score 21-17 in favor of Green Bay and the ball on the Packer 33 yard line, he tackled Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who fumbled the ball, recovered by Desmond Bishop. The Packers never lost the lead, winning their 4th Super Bowl title and first since Super Bowl XXXI, 31-25.


Season NFL Team Games Tackles Interceptions Awards
G GS Comb Solo Ast Sck PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TD
2009 Packers helmet Green Bay Packers 16 13 51 37 14 10.0 7 -- -- -- -- -- Probowl
2010 Packers helmet Green Bay Packers 15 15 60 54 6 13.5 4 1 62 62.0 62T 1 Probowl
2 Yrs Packers PACKERS TOTAL 31 28 111 91 20 23.5 11 1 62 62.0 62 1 --
Career statistics and player information from

See alsoEdit

External links Edit

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