The Atlanta Falcons sixth offensive lineman draft pick is turning heads, not only due to his sheer size and brute strength, but also because of the values and heart he brings to the game. Jake Matthews fits the bill for an NFL player quite well. At 6’5″ and more than 300 pounds, he clearly has what it takes on a physical level to withstand the blows and be a valued team member.
He also comes from a long line of professional players — his dad Bruce holds a place in the NFL Hall of Fame and his uncle Clay played for the Falcons — so his name is already associated with football-playing greatness.
Matthews has made it quite clear, though, that he has his own voice and that he is not merely trying to follow in his relatives’ footsteps. He takes a no-nonsense approach to every aspect of the game and demonstrated his knowledge and experience in a recent official NFL blog post. The topic addressed the Rookie Symposium, a place where draftees collaborate and have a chance to meet one another face to face. The four core values of the annual symposium are the history of the game, overall wellness, personal experience and professionalism.
Matthews wowed his readers by writing, “Surround yourself with people you trust, build a good team. It’s so much more than being a good football player. This is the setup for the rest of your life…I don’t know how long I’ll play, but I’m going to try and make the most of it..”
Statements like these are testament to a person’s true character and serve as a powerful reminder that professional sports are more than just about a competitive game. Success in the NFL and in all areas of life requires a strong, stable foundation. Matthews epitomizes the persona that every NFL draftee should have and is a source of inspiration for even the most seasoned professionals.
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