Monday, November 18, 2013
Player of the week: SEC
By Sam Khan Jr.
All Jordan Matthews has done is produce.
Throughout his Vanderbilt career and in the past two seasons especially, the senior receiver has simply gotten the job done for the Commodores, catching passes and showing why he's one of the best receivers in the league -- and the country.
This past weekend was no different, though Matthews even set a personal record with a career-high 12 catches for 141 yards in Vanderbilt's 22-6 win over Kentucky.
Matthews is first in the SEC in receptions (83) and second in the league in receiving yards (1,076). He's the only receiver in SEC history to post two seasons of 80 or more catches.
This is the homestretch of a pretty impressive career, statistically. Matthews is the SEC's career leader in receiving yards with 3,358 and needs just four catches to become the league's all-time leader in receptions (the current record is held by former Vanderbilt receiver Earl Bennett, who has 236).
"I think it is his determination. He has unbelievable understanding of who he is and what his strengths are," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said of Matthews on Monday. "As a staff, we like to find different ways each week to get him the ball. He is a kind of guy that exemplifies our program, with having a chip on his shoulder."
Not surprisingly, Matthews' ascent has coincided with Vanderbilt's under Franklin. Last season the Commodores went 9-4 and this season they're trying to finish the same way and have already clinched bowl eligibility for the third straight season.
On Monday, Matthews was also among three SEC receivers to be named one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's best receiver at the end of the season. LSU's Odell Beckham and Texas A&M's Mike Evans join him as semifinalists. Saturday's performance against Kentucky was Matthews' 16th career 100-yard receiving game and his 31st straight game with a reception, which leads the SEC.