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Matthews Named Finalist for FCA's Bowden Award

December 19, 2013
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

NEW ORLEANS—Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Jake Matthews, a consensus All-American, has been named a finalist for the Bobby Bowden Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to a FBS player who best epitomizes the student-athlete.

Matthews has made 45 consecutive starts on the Texas A&M offensive line entering the Chick-fil-A Bowl game in Atlanta against Duke on Dec. 31. The Missouri City, Texas, native was a finalist for the Outland Trophy presented annually to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman. A versatile player, Matthews could play any position along the offensive front and he held down the right tackle position his first three years before flipping to the left tackle slot his senior season. He is also the deep snapper on PAT and field goals for the Aggies.

Matthews completed his course work on his undergraduate degree with better than a 3.0 GPA in the Mays College of Business. He finished in three and one-half years, and is projected to be one of the top players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Other finalists for the Bobby Bowden Award include Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell, Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer, Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma State linebacker Shaun Lewis and Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood join Matthews as finalists for the prestigious award.

Matthews will try and become the second Texas A&M player to win the award as Aggie quarterback Stephen McGee was named the 2008 winner. It would mark the second player under head coach Kevin Sumlin to win the award as Houston quarterback Case Keenum was named the 2011 recipient.

Matthews and his younger Mike, who happens to be the starting sophomore center for the Aggie football team were featured in the FCA Magazine earlier this season. Both young men are the sons of NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.

The Bobby Bowden award recognizes the Football Bowl Subdivision player who epitomizes a student-athlete. He must conduct himself as a faith model in the classroom, on the field, on the campus and in the community. To win, he must also have the backing of his school's Athletic Director and Head Football coach.

The award is named after former Florida State University football head coach Bobby Bowden. It was conceived by Vince Gibson, a former Bowden assistant at South Georgia College who went on to become head coach at Kansas State, Louisville and Tulane long before he passed away in 2012 from Lou Gehrig's disease; and Vernon Brinson, one of Bowden’s former players at South Georgia College in the 1950s.

The Award is sponsored by The Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The 2013 Bobby Bowden Award winner will be announced at the FCA Bowl Championship Breakfast site in Irvine, California on January 3, 2014. Past winners are:

2003       Jason Wright                         Northwestern University

2004       Billy Bajema                         Oklahoma State University

2005       D. J. Shockley                       University of Georgia

2006       Carl Pendleton                      University of Oklahoma

2007       Jacob Tamme                        University of Kentucky

2008       Stephen McGee                    Texas A&M

2009       Colt McCoy                          University of Texas

2010       Christian Ponder                   Florida State University

2011       Case Keenum                        University of Houston

2012       Ashton Richardson               Auburn University

The following is a list of the nominees in alphabetical order.

Ryan Alderman                       Temple University

Chris Burnette                         University of Georgia

Tyler Campbell                        Univeristy of Mississippi

Richie Casey                           Louisiana Tech

Chandler Catanzaro                Clemson Univeristy

Joseph Fazio                            Ball State Univeristy

Jake Fischer                             University of Arizona

Cam Gordon                           University of Michigan

Andrew Green                        University of Nebraska

Derrick Hopkins                      Virginia Tech

Lamarcus Joyner                     Florida State Univeristy

Rob Henry                              Purdue University

Gabe Ikard                              University of Oklahoma

Jon Koontz                              Texas Christian

Shaun Lewis                           Oklahoma State University

Jamie Markosian                     Utah State Univeristy

Jordan McCray                       University of Central Florida

Kirby Moore                           Boise State

Conner O’Neil                        University of Wisconsin

Kevin Norwood                      University of Alabama

Tanner Price                            Wake Forest

Brett Van Sloten                     University of Iowa

Christian Smith                       University of Toledo

Alex Zordich                           State Univeristy of New York – Buffalo

About FCA:
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is touching millions of lives… one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.


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