2008: Matthews, the fourth person from his family to play football at USC, will be used in a variety of defensive roles as a senior in 2008. He will push for starting time as a stand-up end in certain defensive formations, he can also play any of the linebacker positions and he will be a vital special teams performer (he has a knack for blocking kicks). He had surgery on his hand prior to 2008 spring practice.
2007: Matthews was a key backup linebacker and special teams player as a junior in 2007. Overall in 2007 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 17 tackles, including 3 for losses of 23 yards, plus 2 forced fumbles, 1 deflection and 2 blocked field goals. He even started the Nebraska and Washington State games on the strong side. He had 4 tackles, a deflection and a blocked field goal against Idaho, then added 3 tackles (1 for a loss) against Washington State, 4 stops against Arizona, a tackle and blocked field goal at Notre Dame, a tackle at Oregon and a tackle for a loss at California. He had 3 tackles (1 for a loss) and 2 forced fumbles against Illinois. He won USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year Award.
2006: A one-time walk-on, Matthews earned a scholarship in the fall of 2006 and served as a reserve linebacker and key special teams player as a sophomore in 2006. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 15 tackles, including 1.5 for losses of 9 yards (with a 7-yard sack). He had 4 tackles at Stanford (with 0.5 tackle for a loss and a sack), 3 tackles against Oregon and 2 stops versus Michigan. He won USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year Award.
2005: As a redshirt freshman reserve linebacker in 2005 (he also played on special teams), he had 8 tackles and a deflection while appearing in 12 games (all but Hawaii). He had 3 tackles versus Stanford and 2 against Washington State. He had a tackle and deflection versus Arkansas. He missed the Hawaii game with a sprained elbow.
2004: He did not see any action as a first-year freshman linebacker in 2004.
HIGH SCHOOL: He prepped at Agoura (Calif.) High.
PERSONAL: He's an international relations major at USC with a B average (3.06 GPA). He made the 2006 Pac-10 All-Academic second team. He comes from a football family. His father, Clay, was a 4-year (1974-77) letterman linebacker at USC who played on Troy's 1974 national championship team and earned All-American honors in 1977 (he went on to play with the NFL's Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons from 1978 to 1996). His brother, Kyle, lettered at safety on USC's 2003 national championship team. Another brother, Casey, is a sophomore linebacker at Oregon. His uncle, Bruce, was a 3-year (1980-82) letterman offensive guard at USC who earned All-American honors in 1982 and then played with the NFL's Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1983 to 2001. His grandfather, Clay Sr., was on the football, wrestling and swimming teams at Georgia Tech in the 1940s and then played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s. His cousin, Ashley Nick, is a senior on the USC women's soccer team (the 2007 NCAA champions).
WHAT OTHERS SAY: USC head coach Pete Carroll: "Clay is really productive. He gives us great speed, and he has great savvy and instincts."
#Includes 1 blocked field goal
#Includes 2 blocked field goals