Is Tray Matthews Georgia’s most important player for 2013?

I know I’m being a little provocative with the header, and in an absolute sense Matthews isn’t as important to Georgia’s success as, say, Murray and Gurley are.  But here’s the quote that got me thinking about Matthews in the first place:

Swann knows he will be counted on heavily in the secondary, where three new starters must emerge before the team opens up against Clemson on Aug. 31. And when asked about the players around him who must step up, he mentioned a name we’ve heard about a lot since he arrived on campus — projected starting free safety Tray Matthews, an incoming freshman from Newnan.

“He’s going to be a big key to our secondary, playing back there where (Bacarri) Rambo played at last year,” Swann said. “Tray is going to be one of those guys that we’re going into week one not expecting him to be a true freshman. They’ll call him a true freshman, but we’re going to be looking at him like a guy who has been there for a while.”

They need a lot out of Matthews this season, both because of scheme requirements and because of what’s gone at the safety position.  And Matthews showed enough in the spring to send expectations skyrocketing.  Ask yourself where Georgia is likely to be if he can’t play at a level above that of a true freshman out of the box against Clemson.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Is Tray Matthews Georgia’s most important player for 2013?

  1. virginia baird

    I Think Tray Matthews will meet & surpass all expectations of him!! His nickname is Stardawg”KABOOM”Matthews 7 he will more than earn it!!

  2. Mg4life0331

    I just hope we don’t get wheel routed to death like a couple of years ago. Need a score? Wheel route outta the backfield inc.

  3. Fluff

    “Ask yourself where Georgia is likely to be if he can’t play at a level above that of a true freshman out of the box against Clemson.”

    Easy answer: we’ll probably give up a lot of big plays and the game will be really close.

    Tray is going to give up some big plays this year. Rambo gave them up consistently his first couple of years, it was only last year that he really kept deep balls at bay (as far as I can remember), so expecting Tray to be lights out is a whole lot to ask.

    He will go through the phase of wanting to take everyone’s head off, and that will lead to some big gains/scores.

    Then he will focus more on ball hawking, go in for pics, make some and miss others, leading to more big gains/scores.

    Then he will put it all together (presumably by the end of the year or in 2014) and be a very solid player in the secondary. He’s a kid and in this system he is going to screw up before he gets it right (that’s how you learn, after all). Play action will especially trip him up since he will be looking to go in and blow up the RB if he thinks he has the ball.

    It’s going to be a process with Tray. Just like it is with most other guys except for freaks like Jarvis.

    I expect some good and bad out of Tray this year. The good may provide a spark to the team and build some confidence in the young secondary. The bad may lose us some games.

    • Cojones

      Jarvis went through that his Freshman year at USC, Good assessment of Tray and his possible first year. We need to see what the entire D gang can do playing together as a unit before we begin to select our heroes.

  4. Lrgk9

    Fluker looks good on the highlights. Let’s see what he can do against SEC competition. Depth is a real problem.

  5. The other Doug

    Is Mathews starting because he is that good or because he is all we got?

    • Bobby

      I get the impression that even if we had real starters, tray would still get substantial play time (all reports are that he is that good).

  6. pacific plate

    Lil of both

  7. Rebar

    You don’t walk into a position in an SEC defense at a key area because you have promise. You become the starting safety in an SEC defense because you have proven to Coach Grantham that you can be trusted to stick to your position and hustle to the ball.

  8. 69Dawg

    All I can add is “Let us pray.”