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Matthews tabbed to be big-play performer for football Cats

Chris Matthews catches a pass during spring practice. (Victoria Graff photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Confidence is not a problem for Kentucky senior receiver Chris Matthews, and probably never will be. But that’s not a bad thing with the way he’s being counted on again to become a big-play performer for the Wildcats.

“It will better the team and myself as the players around me get better, and they are better this year,” Matthews said.

So will UK fans get to see the real Chris Matthews consistently this season rather than periodically like they did when the junior college transfer arrived last year?

“Very much so. We are going to see what is going on and I think I can really do something this year,” Matthews said.

Then I posed this question to him: Does a great receiver need a great quarterback or does a great quarterback have to have a great receiver?

“I believe it is the quarterback. If you have a great quarterback, you are going to have a good receiver no mater who it is because he is going to get it to you and all you have to do is concentrate and catch the ball,” Matthews said. “For us receivers to actually have a breakout year, we are going to have to have a nasty, monstrous quarterback out there who will just take charge.

“Even if we are blowing Florida out by like 50 points and we are lollygagging, playing around and laughing and stuff, we need a quarterback that will say, ‘Shut up. Let’s keep on pushing it.’ That is something we really need for the tough times and the good times. We need a quarterback who is going to come out and keep a level head.”

Does UK have that player in Mike Hartline, Morgan Newton or Ryan Mossakowski?

“I believe every quarterback out here has it in their head. Morgan is pretty silly, but when it gets down to business he is pretty serious,” Matthews said.

What about him? New receivers coach Tee Martin said Matthews reminded him skill-wise of NFL receiver Plexaco Burress, a big-time playmaker. Is that fair?

“That is a real honor. I like Plexaco Burress even despite  the trouble he has right now (he ins in jail) because he is just a phenomenal football player. I like the way he uses his body and hands. He fakes people out with his route running. I appreciate him saying something like that,” Matthews said. “I have seen some of coach Martin’s tapes when he was a quarterback (at Tennessee). He was pretty accurate. I would have loved to play with him. He would have made me look like Plexaco Burress.”

Matthews wants to make many more big plays and help the Cats win more games than they did last year.

“It was eating me alive last year, even when we played the next game, over the losses we had by a few points and did this or that wrong to cost us the game,” Matthews said. “Now that we have a fresh start, we have to make those changes it takes to win those close games and not let the same things happen to us again.”

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4 comments

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  1. jimcats

    Not much of a veil over his thoughts: “If we had a good QB, I could be great”. We’ll see what he can do with what he has to work with. I’m often times amazed at justs how boastful today’s athletes are. It’s one thing to feel that way, but saying it for public consumption.

  2. oldblackcleats

    and “blowing Florida out by 50 points…..”

    Okay Chris…Soon you get the chance to WALK the WALK
    and show us how its done!!!!!

    (Yes, I know he did not predict the above, but I do find it a little
    odd to use Florida as that particular example, especially after the
    last 24/25 meetings have not gone our way…
    Many by the same 50 point margin he used in his example).

    GO Cats…I’m ready for some football!

  3. larry vaught

    Remember, he is a blunt, excitable kid and my guess is part of what he is saying, especially about Florida, is from the pep talks he hears from Rock and the talk about thinking big. Chris is confident, but also a team player. REally a delightful kid to be around

  4. oldblackcleats

    Great to hear Larry!
    By ALL means…I want our kids to believe they can change
    the recent results against the Floridas and Tennessees!
    Believing is half the battle…maybe more!

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