Draft Scout Snapshot: DS Rating on 8/24/08: #34 OLB, #416/750 Overall, Projected Rnd: FA
2008: Academic All-Pac 10 first-team and named the squad's Co-Lifter of the Year and Co-Special Teams Player of the Year, the third consecutive season he captured that latter award...Underwent hand surgery prior to spring practice, but was fully recovered by the season opener...Played behind Everson Griffen at right defensive tackle for the season's first three games before taking over and starting the final ten contests...Ranked fourth on the team with 56 tackles (28 solos), as he helped the Trojans lead the nation in scoring defense (9.0 ppg) and passing efficiency defense (85.75 rating)...Tied for second on the team with 4.5 sacks for minus 42 yards and ranked third on the team with nine stops for losses of 59 yards, as the Trojans finished fifth nationally in rush defense (87.38 ypg) and second in total defense (221.77 ypg)...Had a pair of pass deflections and blocked his third field goal for his career (vs. Oregon State)...Also caused and recovered a pair of fumbles...2007: 13 GP; 2 GS; 15 Sol-17 TT, 3 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 QBH, 2 FF, 2 BLK; Matthews was a key backup linebacker and special teams player as a junior in 2007. Overall in 2007 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 17 tackles, including 3 for losses of 23 yards, plus 2 forced fumbles, 1 deflection and 2 blocked field goals. He won USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year Award. Suffered broken left thumb against Nebraska, then fractured a metacarpal later in season, then had to have surgery after the bowl game as it did not heal properly...2006: 13 GP; 0 GS; 9 Sol-15 TT, 1.5 TFL, 1 SK; A one-time walk-on, Matthews earned a scholarship in the fall of 2006 and served as a reserve linebacker and key special teams player as a sophomore in 2006. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 15 tackles, including 1.5 for losses of 9 yards (with a 7-yard sack). Comes from a football family. His father, Clay, was a 4-year (1974-77) letterman linebacker at USC who played on Troy's 1974 national championship team and earned All-American honors in 1977 (he went on to play with the NFL's Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons from 1978 to 1996). His brother, Kyle, lettered at safety on USC's 2003 national championship team. His uncle, Bruce, was a 3-year (1980-82) letterman offensive guard at USC who earned All-American honors in 1982 and then played with the NFL's Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1983 to 2001. His grandfather, Clay Sr., was on the football, wrestling and swimming teams at Georgia Tech in the 1940s and then played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s.
Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Packers' picks: Round 1/26 -- Clay Matthews, LB, 6-3, 245, Southern California...As tickled as Ted Thompson was to have Raji slide to the Packers early in Round 1, the general manager eagerly wanted Matthews to fill another missing piece in the new defensive scheme. Hence, Thompson mortgaged the rest of Green Bay's first half of the draft -- a second-round pick (No. 41) and two third-round choices (Nos. 73 and 83) -- to go up to get the all-around playmaker that is Matthews. More than having strong NFL bloodlines, Matthews is a ready-made starter at right outside linebacker with his combination of tenacious run defense, unbridled pass rush off the edge and improving coverage skills. - by The Sports Xchange