In the past four years, Cliff Matthews started 47 games, amassing 149 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 26 tackles-for-loss, but Matthews is moving on to the next stage of his career — the NFL. Matthews is providing The State with a diary of his experiences through April 28, when the NFL draft begins in New York. In this week’s diary, Matthews talks about his goals for Wednesday’s Pro Day, when professional scouts will travel to Columbia to evaluate the draft-eligible Gamecocks in the same drills Matthews performed at the NFL Combine. He also discusses his class and graduation schedule.
“I don’t have any specific goals (for Pro Day) except to do better than I did at every category from what I did at the Combine. I felt like I did good at the Combine, but I want to do better. I think it gives me a little advantage being home, being in the South, the atmosphere. We’ll run our 40-yard dash in the stadium on the grass if it doesn’t rain. I went to Pro Day last year. It was kind of new to me then. I guess I got an idea of what to expect when my time came. Since the Combine, I definitely feel like I am striving to get better.
“I am taking five classes this semester. When I am done with those, I only have one more class left and then I will be done. I’m taking three criminal justice classes, a history class and social work.”