NEW BERLIN – Tyler Matakevich has been spotlighted as this weeks athlete, who in 2011 played one year of football at the prep-school, Milford Academy in New Berlin.
Tyler has most recently made some waves on a national level by earning a various amount of prestigious awards, playing in the college senior bowl, and just this past weekend of Feb. 27 and 28, Matakevich completed the NFL combine held in Indianapolis.
“This one particular kid, Matakevich, came to Milford with nothing and he's just made the most of it. These honors are going to get him into the college hall of fame alone, he's got the credentials,” said Milford head coach Billy Chaplick.
Tyler came to New Berlin to play at Milford Academy after completing a extraordinary high school career at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Connecticut. Tyler played linebacker and running back on the football team at this high school while also boasting the status of duel sport athlete as a baseball player. He finished his high school career in football with 2,357 yards rushing, 1,355 yards receiving, 3,898 all-purpose yards on offense, 371 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries, and 8 interceptions on defense.
It seemed he was destined to make the jump to the college level, yet due to suffering a broken foot his senior year, he chose to attend the prep-school, Milford Academy.
“In the beginning it's hard to make that transition from high school to college. Tyler just got better every week with us though. And at the end he was in an Oklahoma drill in our combine, Temple came and saw him and offered him a scholarship. The rest of it is history,” said Chaplick.
During his stay at Milford Academy in 2011 season, Tyler was a member of a team that would make an undefeated run, going 12-0. It should be noted that 13 members of that 2011 team went on to play 1A football following the season.
Much like coach Chaplick alleged, Temple University offered Tyler a four year scholarship. Now in 2016, Tyler has completed his degree, while also excelling on the football field.
In 2012, the freshman Matakevich played and started in all 13 games, while becoming the first freshman in school history to record 100 tackles, finishing with 101.
The following season as a sophomore Tyler recorded an amazing 137 tackles, one sack and one interception.
As a senior Tyler became seventh player in FBS history to record 100 tackles all four years, as he helped lead his team to the AAC Championship.
These amazing accolades on the field prompted Matakevich to receive national honors including the AAC Defensive Player of the Year, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award, consensus All- American, and will be Coach Chaplick's third Walter Camp All-American in the last four years.
“He's only six feet tall, and he was 205-pounds when he played for me, and was about 215-pounds when he left. You make up for what you don’t have physically, when your instincts take over. He's like a downhill skier, you see stuff before it gets to you, and that’s how Tyler is, he sees the whole field. It's phenomenal the tackles that he made, and made some against some serious teams, ” said Chaplick.
According to Coach Chaplick, Tyler is third all-time in tackles at the Division I level, saying, “that's incredible stuff.”
Now, after completing playing in the senior bowl and just recently completing the NFL Combine Tyler awaits the NFL Draft in April.
Tyler posted statistics at the NFL Combine which graded out as average and is expected to be drafted somewhere in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft. Statistics: 40 yard dash-4.81 seconds; bench press-22 reps; vertical jump-31 inches; broad jump-122 inches; 3-cone drill-7.19 seconds; 20-yard shuttle- 4.50 seconds.
“He is the prime example of what we are trying to do here at Milford. Coming in with nothing and leaving with a 1-A offer. He graduated from college, which is another big plus for us, he went and got all his work done. And he has been a role model for a lot of our kids coming up,” said Chaplick. “He's on the front cover of our brochure, LeSean Mccoy (also a former Milford Academy graduate) has been on it for the last five years, but he's on it now. He's done everything you’re supposed to do, we're all proud of him and I hope he's got a lot of years ahead of him in the NFL so he can set himself up in life the rest of the way.”