Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Cornell, QB, Jeff Mathews
One of the top FCS QB prospects in the NFL Draft, Cornell QB Jeff Mathews had a distinguished Ivy League career, and will participate in the East/West Shrine Game.
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
I only had one official offer and that was to Cornell.
Where did you choose and why?
I chose Cornell University because of the great college atmosphere. It is a great place to get a world class education and play football at a high level. I have really enjoyed my time in Ithaca and am thankful for the opportunity to play for and represent a great university.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
Quite a few. They mostly talk about the season and what I think are my strengths and weaknesses.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
I think the things that I believe are my strengths are my passion for the game and my toughness. I work tirelessly on my physical attributes to keep getting better. I enjoy the mental side if the game and trying to gain an advantage through preparation.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
I try to find any tips or keys the defense may give when they play a particular coverage or blitz. I Also analyze the players they have and try to find a player we can exploit.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
Based on toughness it has to be Mike Catapano from Princeton. He played with a relentless motor and was a very good player.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I don’t know if I’m at a place to compare myself with some of those great players but I try to take parts of the best QBs games and put it in mine. The guys I learn the most from when watching their film is Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Both guys are great players and fun to learn from.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
My sister was in a car crash when she was in high school and is now a quadriplegic. It is a very difficult situation but she has grown and has accomplished so much that people said were impossible. She is definitely an inspiration and someone I look up too.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I feel I can play in a lot of different systems. I feel like my strengths of having a strong arm, being accurate and preparing relentlessly will allow me to be successful in many different systems.
What is your biggest strength?
My preparation for each game. I also have a strong arm and am an accurate passer.
What is your biggest weakness?
I think something all Qbs need to work on is pocket presence and footwork. Those are things I will work on through out my career.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would say that I’m gonna be a guy who will work tirelessly and also prepare at a high level. If a GM is looking for a guy like that then I wanna play for that team.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My greatest role model is my dad. He has made so many sacrifices to allow me to be successful. He is someone I talk to about almost everything and he is a person I look up too.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
My favorite player growing up was Brett Favre. He always looked like he was having fun playing the game and was a great player to watch.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Michael Jordan, Winston Churchill and Vince Lombardi
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
I would pay off all my college loans