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.