VALDOSTA, GA. (vstateblazers.com) — Valdosta State football defensive back Christian Matthew was drafted in the seventh round at pick #244 by the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday as he became the sixth Blazer to be taken in the NFL Draft in program history.
Matthew, a native of Columbus, Ga., helped lead VSU to the national title game in 2021 as a graduate transfer. Matthew played in all 14 games helping lead VSU to its third-straight Gulf South Conference title (a share in 2021) and a 12-2 record overall. He finished the season with 37 total tackles, 26 solo stops, assisted on one sack for three yards, one interception, 15 pass breakups and one blocked kick. He had a season-high six total tackles and five solo stops in the national semifinal victory over Colorado School of Mines (12/11/21).
He helped lead a defense that was second in the Gulf South Conference in interceptions with nine, while the Blazers were second in the league in scoring defense at 22.7 points per game for 53rd nationally. The Blazers finished 23rd nationally and tops in the GSC in passing efficiency defense at 110.74, while the defense was third in the GSC in total defense, allowing 348.4 yards per game. Matthew finished 33rd nationally in passes defended per game at 1.1 for second in the GSC.
Prior to Valdosta State, Matthew played two seasons at Samford and before that at Georgia Southern. He had 29 tackles and 18 solo stops in his two seasons playing for Samford. He graduated from Samford before coming to Titletown in 2021.
Matthew joins Stephen Denmark (2019, 7th Round, 238th pick, Chicago), Edmund Kugbila (2013, 4th Round, Carolina), Artie Ulmer (1997, 7th Round, Minnesota), Antonio Edwards (1993, 8th Round, Seattle) and Robert Morris (1990, 10th Round, Seattle) as former Blazers who all were drafted. Matthew was the fourth Division II Player drafted Saturday.
CBS Sports Commented on Matthews…
- Towering, thick, explosive outside defensive back with major length. Wins with physicality throughout the route. Speed is good, not great. Feels a lot like Marco Wilson pick last year.
ESPN's Josh Weinfuss' take on Matthews…
- He has the size at 6-foot-2 to find a place on the Cardinals' roster if he has the skill it takes to be an NFL cornerback. Arizona has a need for more corners after not re-signing Robert Alford this offseason, so the opportunity is there for Matthew if he can impress enough.