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
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.