Former St. Joseph High School standout Tyler Matakevich, a senior linebacker from Temple University, has been named by the Walter Camp Football Foundation as its 2015 “Connecticut Player of the Year.” Awarded annually to the top college football player who is a resident and/or played scholastically in the state of Connecticut, the Connecticut Player of the Year is selected by the all-volunteer membership of the Walter Camp Foundation.
A native of Stratford, Matakevich is the first player from Temple to earn the Connecticut Player of the Year award.
“We are pleased to recognize Tyler Matakevich as our Connecticut Player of the Year,” Foundation president Robert Kauffman said. “Tyler has been a consistent defensive force for the Owls and a worthy recipient of this honor.”
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 232-pound Matakevich has been a four-year letterwinner for the Owls, who reached the American Athletic Conference title game. Temple (10-3) will face Toledo in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday, December 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.
A finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Bednarik awards, Matakevich has led the Owls in tackles in all 13 games this season (the only FBS player to do so) on his way to being named the 2015 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
For the season, Matakevich has totaled 126 tackles (75 solo), including 15 for losses. He has 4.5 quarterback sacks and five interceptions. His best game came on September 5 when he registered seven tackles, including three quarterback sacks, as the Owls upset Penn State. The following week, he totaled 13 tackles and two interceptions in a win over Cincinnati.
For his career, Matakevich has totaled 469 tackles and is the NCAA’s active career leader. He is one of seven players in NCAA FBS history to record at least 100 tackles in four consecutive seasons. Matakevich is a three-time First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection.
At St. Joseph High School, Matakevich was a two-sport (football and baseball) standout. He led the Cadets to two straight state football titles and was an All-State selection following his senior season in 2011. He then prepped at Milford Academy for one season before enrolling at Temple in January 2012.
Matakevich will be recognized at the organization’s national awards banquet, presented by First Niagara Bank, on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven. In addition to the 2015 Walter Camp All-America team (which will be announced on Dec. 10), the Foundation will recognize three individuals – Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver (Distinguished American), former Florida State and Oakland Raider standout wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff (Man of the Year) and former Grambling State All-American and NFL quarterback Doug Williams (Alumnus of the Year) – with major awards. Please visit www.waltercamp.org or call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267) for more information.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
Connecticut Player of the Year
Presented to the top college football player who is a resident and/or played scholastically in the state of Connecticut. The award is voted on by the Walter Camp Football Foundation membership.
2015 – Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
2014 – Tyler Murphy, QB, Boston College
2013 – Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Boston College
2012 – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
2011 – Silas Redd, RB, Penn State
2010 – John Moffitt, OL, Wisconsin
2009 – Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
2008 – Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue
2007 – Mike McLeod, RB, Yale
2006 – Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue
2005 – John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame
2004 – Anttaj Hawthorne, DT, Wisconsin; Dan Orlovsky, QB, Connecticut
2003 – Dan Orlovsky, QB, Connecticut
2002 – Niko Koutouvides, LB, Purdue
2001 – Dwight Freeney, DE, Syracuse
2000 – Peter Mazza, LB, Yale
1999 – Bobby Myers, DB, Wisconsin
1998 – Carl Bond, RB, Connecticut
1997 – Kyle McIntosh, RB, Syracuse
1996 – Tarek Saleh, LB, Wisconsin
1995 – Tarek Saleh, LB, Wisconsin
1994 – Jason Miska, LB, Auburn
1993 – Chris Zingo, LB, Cornell
1992 – Curtis Eller, LB, Villanova
1991 – Corey Vincent, DL, Holy Cross
1990 – Rob Thomson, DB, Syracuse
1989 – Terry Wooden, LB, Syracuse
1988 – Glenn Antrum, WR, Connecticut
1987 – Bill Romanowski, LB, Boston College
1986 – Richard Comizio, RB, Pennsylvania
1985 – Tom Patton, DE, Holy Cross
1984 – No recipient
1983 – Steve Young, QB, Brigham Young
1982 – Mike Marshall, DB, Southern Conn.
1981 – Richard Diana, RB, Yale