2000: As a senior in 2000, Childers once again will share the starting job at defensive end with Shamsud-Din Abdul-Shaheed.
PAUL HACKETT SAYS: “Matt is a poised veteran who gives us a solid performance game in and game out. He is maybe our most consistent linemen.”
1999: After sitting out the 1998 season, Childers started USC’s first 7 games at defensive end as a junior in 1999. He sprained his left shoulder against Stanford and was slowed coming off the bench at California, then missed the next 2 contests (Arizona State and Washington State) while recuperating, before coming off the bench (playing behind Shamsud-Din Abdul-Shaheed) for the final 2 games. Overall while appearing in 10 games in 1999, he made 24 tackles, including 7 for losses of 37 yards (including a co-team-high 5 sacks for minus 33 yards), deflected 3 passes and forced 2 fumbles (against Oregon and Oregon State, which USC recovered and led to TDs). He had 6 tackles against San Diego State, 4 against UCLA (2 were sacks) and 3 each versus Oregon, Oregon State (2 for losses, plus 2 deflections) and Arizona.
1998: Childers sat out his 1998 junior year after transferring from Kansas State. He signed with the Wildcats in the spring of 1998 from Chabot College in Hayward (Calif.) and went through spring drills, but then left. After the 1998 season, he had arthroscopic surgery on a dislocating left shoulder.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: He starred at Chabot College in Hayward (Calif.), where he was coached by former USC assistant Tony Caviglia. As a 1997 sophomore at Chabot, he earned Super Prep JUCO 100, Prep Star Top 100, J.C. Grid-Wire All-American second team, J.C. Athletic Bureau All-State Region II first team and All-Golden Gate Conference first team honors while notching 17 sacks. In 1996 as a freshman, he made All-Golden Gate Conference honorable mention while posting 12 tackles for losses and 8 sacks.
HIGH SCHOOL: He prepped at Castro Valley (Calif.) High, winning All-League Defensive MVP honors as a 1995 senior. He was All-League first team as a 1994 junior. He also played soccer, baseball and volleyball at Castro Valley.
PERSONAL: He’s a public policy and management major at USC.
MATT CHILDERS ON:
Playing at this level: “When I was in junior college, I just played to play, stay in shape and have fun. I never thought I’d end up anywhere…Now, I figure, whatever happens, happens. I’ve done fine so far without planning things. Sometimes things don’t work out like you plan them…I’m the first one in my family to go to college. I just do what I’m supposed to do and try to stay out of trouble.”
Sitting out the 1998 season: “It was tough to sit out that year after transferring. I had to stay tough mentally. I knew that as I got more reps in practice, I’d get my chance to show what I could do. Also, I lost a bit of weight so I felt a lot quicker. It was easier for me to be a more effective pass rusher.”
His brief stay at Kansas State: “I went there because they had a great defense and I thought they would contend for the national title. But they wanted me to gain a lot more weight. I did for a while, but I didn’t think I carried the weight well. I lost a lot of the quickness that I used to have. And it was a lot different than it is in California. It was just so slow and there’s nothing to do. I really missed California. It was great to be back here.”
MATT CHILDERS CAREER STATISTICS