An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
Off the field, Matthews, a senior University Studies major from Missouri City, Texas, has volunteered at the Twin City Mission throughout his career at Texas A&M by serving meals and working around the property, and he helped build a playground on the site for young children. He also participates in Aggie Athletes Involved (AAI), which is a community service group of student-athletes that speaks to various schools in the area about the importance of an education and striving to do your best in every activity.
On the gridiron, Matthews has been a key cog in the Aggies’ offensive front for four record-setting seasons. Texas A&M has broken and re-broken its school record for passing offense, total offense and scoring offense the past two seasons, and is on pace to shatter all three records again in 2013. With Matthews helping clear the way, the Aggies lead the Southeastern Conference in passing offense (371.8 yards/G), total offense (582.6 yards/G) and scoring offense (49.0 points/G).
A first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of American in 2012, Matthews was a 2013 Midseason All-American by Sports Illustrated and is also a candidate for the Maxwell Award, the Outland Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Walter Camp Award.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through December 16. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January. For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Alden Darby, Arizona State
Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Cairo Santos, Tulane
John Urschel, Penn State
Kyle Van Noy, BYU