Mathews Named to Lombardi Award Watch List

July 14, 2014

HOUSTON - Houston senior linebacker Derrick Mathews was named to his second national award preseason watch list as the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List was announced Monday. Mathews, who was named to the Nagruski Trophy watch list on Thursday, leads all active players nationally with 348 career tackles and 39 career tackles for loss.

Mathews is one of five UH student-athletes to be named a national award watch list, joining junior receiver Deontay Greenberry and sophomore quarterback John O’Korn on the Maxwell Award watch list, senior center Bryce Redman on the Rimington Trophy watch list and junior defensive back Trevon Stewart on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list.

Named Dave Campbell’s 2014 Best Linebacker in the State of Texas, Mathews has started all 39 games of his UH career beginning in 2011 when was he was named a Freshman All-American by College Football News.

Mathews eclipsed the century mark in tackles last year for the third consecutive season with 116 stops and led all linebackers in The American and the Houston program with seven sacks, part of his 12 tackles for loss.

The Houston native shared the team’s Wilson Whitley Defensive MVP honor with Stewart after forcing two fumbles, recovering two others and returning his lone interception of the year 29 yards for a Houston touchdown vs. BYU. Mathews had a career game against BYU as he totaled 12 tackles, four of which were for loss, and three sacks along with his interception for a touchdown.

Mathews hit double digits in tackles in four games with a season high of 13 at Temple while breaking up four passes on the year as well.

He currently ranks ninth on the Houston career tackles chart while his 173 career assisted tackles rank seventh in UH history. His 39 career tackles for loss rank eighth in the Cougar record books while his six career forced fumbles come in at sixth on the career charts.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2014 pre-season honors.

While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 player who meets the requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 300 members, including all past winners and finalists, all FBS head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2014.

The 45th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

Houston fans can guarantee a place in history by purchasing season tickets for the first season in the new TDECU Stadium. Season tickets are currently on sale starting at just $140 as are Memorial Hermann Family Plan four-pack season tickets, two adult and two youth, for just $299. Lower-level reserved season tickets start at just $200.

Fans interested in purchasing Houston Football season tickets for as low as $140 for seven games can contact the Ticket Sales department online or by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).

Houston opens the 2014 season at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29, when it hosts UTSA in the first game in TDECU Stadium.

University of Houston alumni from the last five years (2010-14) can purchase season tickets for just $125 (upper levels) and $175 (lower level) in specially designated Young Alumni sections with a multiplier of four times donations to Cougar Pride giving levels for the first five years after graduation. Young Alumni can purchase tickets here or by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).

Single-game group ticket sales for the inaugural season in TDECU Stadium are now on sale via the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Groups of at least 10 or more can purchase tickets starting at just $21 per person to any of Houston’s seven home games, including 2014 Fiesta Bowl champion UCF, by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by clicking here.



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