For the fourth consecutive year, we are going to preview the top players on Boise State’s roster. To clarify, this is not who we think the top ten players on the roster will be at the end of the season or who we think the most important players are, but the most skilled players entering the season. We will preview one player each week heading into the season. This week is number two.
Matlock is one of the stories that every fan loves to hear. He overcame obstacles as a teenager, comes from small town Idaho and was originally a gray shirt. Expectations were not high for Matlock when he arrived on campus. But with a mix of that blue collar work ethic that Boise State loves so much and intimidating athleticism, Matlock has become an invaluable part of this team. Matlock finished last season with 41 tackles and 7 sacks. He even saw snaps on the offensive side of the ball, primarily in jumbo packages on the goal line. But Matlock surprised everyone when he caught a touchdown pass against Utah State. A big senior season should allow Matlock to have his name called during the 2023 NFL Draft.
The big man up front is what kept the pass rush somewhat threatening last year, amounting a team-leading seven sacks. With nominations to both the Bednarik Award watch list and the Outland Trophy watch list, this year will be the culmination of all the hard work and grinding that Matlock has put forward in his career. With the additions of transfers along the defensive line and edge, the pressure shouldn’t need to be solely placed on Matlock to put up insane numbers. However, he will have the opportunity to lead a cavalry within the first line of the defense and stifle opposing offensive attacks. I would encourage anyone to read about his journey and the obstacles he has overcome to get to this point.
Who do you have in the number two spot? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.