Feb. 27, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Commodore senior All-America wide receiver Jordan Matthews walked away with the 2013 Ed Temple Amateur Male Award Wednesday at the 16th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger.
The season achievements of two Vanderbilt programs, the 9-4 BBVA Compass Bowl champion football team and the Southeastern Conference regular season champion baseball squad, were listed in the Celebration of Champions' Top Ten Sports Moments.
The accomplishments of two other Vanderbilt student-athletes and a head coach also were recognized during the event. All-America infielder Tony Kemp joined Matthews among five finalists for the amateur male award, and former basketball standout Tiffany Clarke was a finalist for the amateur female award captured by MTSU's Ebony Rowe. Commodore baseball head coach Tim Corbin was a finalist for the Sports Person of the Year Award.
The Nashville Sports Council event was held at the Grand Ole Opry House. In addition to Matthews, other 2013 award winners were Belmont University men's basketball Rick Byrd, Sports Person of the Year; longtime MTSU track coach Dean Hayes, Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement Award, and Tennessee Titans' Jonathan Willard, Kaia Jergenson Courage Award.
Matthews, the SEC's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, becomes the third Vanderbilt football player to receive the Ed Temple Amateur Award. Quarterback Jay Cutler (2005) and wide receiver Earl Bennett (2006), are the previous Commodore football winners.
Eight other Commodore standout student-athletes have claimed the amateur award: Sonny Gray (baseball, 2011), Shan Foster (men's basketball, 2008), David Price (baseball, 2007), Matt Freije (men's basketball, 2004) and Chantelle Anderson (women's basketball, 2002).
Matthews was recognized after putting together the greatest season ever by a Vanderbilt receiver - and one of the finest ever by a SEC player. As a senior, the Madison, Alabama native set a conference record by catching 112 passes. His 1,477 receiving yards is a new team record and the third highest single-season total in SEC history.
Matthews, who earned consensus First Team All-SEC honors for a second consecutive year and recognition on five All-America units, ended his illustrious career as the owner of five SEC records: career receptions (262), career receiving yards (3,759), 100-plus yard receiving games (19), seasons with 90-plus catches (2) and single-season receptions (112). He also ended his collegiate career by earning MVP honors at the BBVA Compass Bowl.
A semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, Matthews participated in the postseason Reese's Senior Bowl and just returned for an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Commodores' second consecutive 9-win season ranked No. 2 in Middle Tennessee's Top Ten Sports Moments. Vanderbilt's remarkable baseball campaign, which included 47 regular season wins and a SEC record for most wins in a season, ranked No. 8 on the Top Ten list.