Matthews became the first Commodore to be named to the first team since D.J. Moore in 2008. What is so impressive about Matthews ascent to first team honors is that he is playing wide receiver on a distinctly run first team. This isn't Tennessee where Tyler Bray seems to be throwing the ball 50 times a game, this is a Vanderbilt team who want to play low risk, ball control offense which maximizes field position. Simply put Matthews managed to attain first team status with the odds stacked squarely against him.
That's not all either, Matthews is going to get better, a lot better. Here is what Franklin had to say to The Tennessean about his 6-foot-3 junior.
"The funny thing, and the scary thing, is I think he can get a lot better. Probably the most powerful trait he has is he thinks he is the best wide receiver in the country. He behaves like that, he acts like that and he practices like that every day."
Matthews is already a skilled route runner and the level of comfort he has with Jordan Rodgers is obvious for all to see. With another year in the Commodore offseason program and with his developing skill set he has the chance to produce some monster numbers during his senior season next year. He has already passed Earl Bennett's mark for yards in a season (1,262) after hauling in another 100 plus against Wake Forest, let's see what he can do for an encore in the Music City Bowl.
Though Matthews was the only first teamer he wasn't the only 'Dore honored in the conference team selections. Vandy placed three players on the SEC second team with running back Zac Stacy, cornerback Andre Hal, and kicker Carey Spear all getting the nod. Rumors that the selection of Spear was entirely down to his highlight reel hit on Tennessee return ace Cordarrelle Patterson are as yet unconfirmed.