30 in 30: Matthews becomes O-line leader

Yjegqdnshvnilqkgu4yn continues its countdown to the start of the 2014 season with its 30 players in 30 days feature on the most important players to Texas A&M's success for the upcoming campaign. The list continues with number 17, center Mike Matthews.
Classification: Junior
Height/Weight: 6'2", 290 lbs.
2013 Statistics: Started all 13 games at center
Why he's on the list: With both Luke Joeckel and older brother Jake Matthews gone, Mike Matthews is now the leader of the offensive line. Unlike his clean cut, more quiet brother - who won the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bobby Bowden player of the year award - Mike has become a vocal (sometimes profane) leader while growing an impressive beard and long hair.
More importantly, he's the pacesetter of the offense, moving the line quickly after each play and making the line calls. After working with the sometimes unpredictable -and more experienced - Johnny Manziel last year, Matthews will now be snapping to Kenny Hill, who has less than a half of game experience.
As a result, his knowledge of the offense and what he's seeing from opposing defenders will become even more important.
Up to 290 pounds, Matthews may still be at somewhat of a disadvantage against some of the SEC's more massive defensive tackles, but he remains one of the smartest and most technically sound centers in the nation and is on the Remington and Outland Trophy watch lists to start the year. His smarts and savvy will be needed greatly in 2014.