Jacob Matthews, usually shortened to Jake Matthews, was born in Missouri City, Texas on February 11, 1992. An offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, he was selected during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, having previously played college football for the Texas A&M Aggies. His father, Bruce Matthews, enjoyed a legendary NFL career and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while several other family members have found success in football.
During his youth, Matthews played football for Elkins High School in his hometown and was named as a High School All-American by USA Today, SuperPrep and Parade in 2009. He went on to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2010 and by the time he finished his senior year, Matthews was regarded as one of the top ten offensive tackle prospects of his class. As a result, he was recruited by Texas A&M University.
Over the course of his first three years with the Aggies, Matthews was utilised as a right tackle, playing alongside Outland Trophy winner, Luke Joeckel. He started seven games as a freshman and all 13 games as a sophomore. Matthews then enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2012, as a junior. At the end of the year, he was voted as a first team All-SEC selection and was picked as a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.
As he progressed to his senior year, Matthews was switched to play left tackle, following the departure of Luke Joeckel to the NFL. Despite the change in position, he was again a standout performer for Texas A&M University, starting in all 13 games. Matthews was an Outland Trophy finalist, received the national Bobby Bowden Award and went on to receive the second All-SEC selection of his college football career.
Following his senior season, Matthews became eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. He was projected to be a high selection and was considered one of the safest picks of the draft, due in part to his versatility. Matthews was eventually chosen in the first round, as the sixth overall pick, by the Atlanta Falcons.
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