INDIANAPOLIS – Jake Matthews doesn’t mind talking about his family’s football success. Just don’t make it seem like it’s the only reason he’s here at the NFL Combine.
“I’d like to think that I wasn’t grandfathered in,” Matthews said jokingly. “Hopefully I earned my way here.”
There’s no doubt he has, but being from a family who is very well versed in the business of the NFL is not a bad thing either.
“It is special the family that I come from and relationships I have with my dad and cousins is great,” Matthews said on Thursday. “You know, I can look to him ask them about their experience and so far it’s been good. I enjoy it.”
The Elkins High School product and Texas A&M star is being projected as a Top 10 pick, in fact, some mock drafts have him going as high as 2nd.
The same was true last year, but Matthews elected to stay in College Station for his senior year, a decision which paid off in more ways than just improving at his craft. He played alongside his brother Mike, who started for the Aggies at center.
“One of the biggest things for me was the opportunity to play with my younger brother, that was something that you can never do again,” Matthews said. “It was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. Being together and starting on the offensive line is something real special and something I’ll always remember.”
During his meet and greet with the media, the questions regarding his father were very quick to come up. Bruce Matthews played 19 years in the NFL, making 14 straight Pro Bowls and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
Jake takes every chance to listen to his dad and really, who wouldn’t?
“One thing my dad has tried to reiterate with me is that if you work hard, do things the right way and put your full effort in you’ll get the results you want,” Matthews said. “That’s something that I’ve always tried to do and I want to just keep it up now.”
“Having a pro football Hall of Famer help you figure out the position is definitely beneficial to make me the player that I am today,” Matthews continued. “The guy played hard, finished just really impressive to watch. I’m proud to call him my father. I’m trying to do the same things he did, if he does half the things he did then I would have a good career.”
Believe it or not, Matthews wasn’t always interested in playing up front like his dad.
“I played a little quarterback when I was younger,” Matthews said with a smile. “I didn’t start playing offensive line until my sophomore year in high school. Once I switched over, I loved it ever since.”
But the combine is all about proving you’re the best. Recently, other offensive linemen have made strides up several mock drafts, putting pressure on Matthews to perform well over the weekend. The knock, if you can call it that, is that Matthew’s upside isn’t as great as other because he is already so polished.
Matthews is satisfied with that characterization.
“Being considered a polished player, that’s something I take as a big honor,” Matthews said. “At the same time, I still think there’s a lot that I can get better at. I’m trying to put the best numbers and prove that I am the best lineman here.”
“I’m a big athletic guy that is able to play both sides of the ball, wherever they want to play. I just want them to know that I’m capable and consistent too.”
As consistent as his father? That’s still to be determined.
“It’s going to be hard to get the 19 years and 14 straight Pro Bowls, that could be difficult.”