Tray Matthews left his mark on the Auburn program in more ways than one. On one hand, he’ll always be remembered as one of the players from Georgia that batted the ball right into the air and into the hands of Ricardo Louis in the game we all know as The Prayer at Jordan-Hare back in 2013. On the other hand, Tray eventually became one of the good guys as he transferred to Auburn in 2014 after being kicked off the team at Georgia. The Newnan, Georgia native played his final 3 years here and became one of the leaders of Auburn’s great defenses the past few years. His departure leaves a big hole at Safety in Auburn’s secondary.
Let’s take a quick look back at some his most memorable plays at Auburn. He started his Auburn career with a bang in 2015 as he had an interception on his first play with Auburn. In fact, it was the game’s first play against Louisville in the Chick Fil-A Kickoff Classic. The quarterback who threw that pass? That would be none other than Lamar Jackson, who only went on to become a Heisman Trophy Winner. Ironically, Matthews interception was the first career pass of Jackson’s first career pass of his illustrious career at Louisville. Fair to say, Jackson’s career trended upward from this moment.
Doing a write-up on Tray Matthews and couldn’t find a video of his INT of Lamar Jackson. So I made one myself. pic.twitter.com/WFuMnI14by— Will McLaughlin (@wlmcl) April 20, 2018
Despite dealing with shoulder injuries throughout 2015, Matthews accumulated for 35 tackles and 2 interceptions in his sophomore season. In 2016, Matthews stayed healthy and recorded 76 tackles and 1 Interception, against his old team.
In 2017, Matthews had 62 tackles and an interception, and his interception was a fantastic play off a tipped pass against Mississippi State. Skip to the 3:00 mark to see the play.
Switching gears towards Matthews future and here’s a look at some of Tray’s Pro Day Workout last month.
Despite not being invited to the NFL Combine, Tray ran a 4.54 at the Pro Day and recorded a 35.5 inch vertical. As far as projections go, according to the NFL Network, Matthews is seen as the 18th best safety available. I would expect to see Tray come off the board on Day 3, potentially in the 5th or 6th Round. Between Tray’s toughness, leadership, and 6 feet height, he has a chance to be a contributor for a team in need of secondary help. The team I would keep an eye the most in regards to drafting Tray would be the Houston Texans. They coached Matthews in the Senior Bowl and had him in for a visit a few weeks ago. Regardless of who drafts him, here’s to Tray Matthews having a long and successful NFL career.