Vandy's Matthews returning for senior season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — By the time Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews graduates, he'll have a chance to rewrite the record books at his school and in the Southeastern Conference.
But what he really wants is a SEC championship for the Commodores.
By returning for his senior season instead of leaving early for the NFL draft, Matthews believes Vanderbilt can win its first league title.
"I know for a fact I have the guys around me that can take this school to an SEC championship next year," Matthews said Sunday. "That is the main reason why I'm staying, and I'm going to devote all my time to making sure Vanderbilt is on the podium in Georgia by season's end next year."
Joined by his parents Roderick and Brenda as well as Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, Matthews announced his decision to stay just six days after the Commodores (9-4) wrapped up their first nine-win season since 1915 with a 38-24 victory over North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl.
"I felt like I could have (been) drafted really high and really helped out an NFL team, but we'll just wait another year to do that," Matthews said.
He led the SEC this season with a school-record 1,323 receiving yards, the fifth-highest total in league history. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder had 94 catches, the second-most in school and SEC history.
Matthews, a distant cousin of Jerry Rice, also has 10 career games with 100 receiving yards or more, including a school-record seven this season.
In three years, the all-SEC selection has 150 receptions for 2,282 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Matthews needs 812 yards to capture the SEC's all-time receiving record. With another monster season, he could surpass former Vanderbilt standout and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett for most career receptions (236) in league history.
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