CANES BASKETBALL LEGEND AND CURRENT MAYOR OF DANIA BEACH TAMARA JAMES DISCUSSES HER DECISION TO COME TO UM, HER RECORD-SETTING CAREER, HOW HER PRO CAREER LED HER OVERSEAS AND HOW HER BASKETBALL BACKGROUND HAS HELPED HER NAVIGATE HER NEW ROLE AS A PUBLIC SERVANT ON THE BEHIND THE U PODCAST

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University of Miami Athletics
91

Matt Walters

position

Defensive Tackle

Height

6-5

Weight

263 lbs.

Class

Junior

Hometown

Melbourne, Fla.

High School

Eau Gallie HS

CAREER: A two-year starter at left defensive tackle and one of the team’s best players…developed into one of the best linemen in the BIG EAST…a mainstay of the Hurricanes’ defensive line…one of the top scholar-athletes in the Miami athletic department…a 2002 First Team Verizon Academic All-American…winner of the 2002 BIG EAST Football Scholar-Athlete Award.

 

2002 (SENIOR): Coaches tout him as the team’s best defensive lineman this season…credited with 64 tackles (28 solos), five sacks (15 yards), 8 tackles for losses, 19 quarterback hurries, and three passes broken up…led all down linemen in tackles for the second consecutive season…ranked sixth on the team in tackles…made seven tackles (four solos) in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State…made one tackle against Virginia Tech, a sack for a two-yard loss…had one stop at Syracuse, a sack for a one-yard loss…had seven tackles against Pittsburgh…recorded a career-high 11 tackles, including a sack for a loss of a yard, against Tennessee…made seven tackles and also broke up a pass against Rutgers…recorded two tackles in the win over West Virginia…was limited to an assist in the win over Florida State…recorded five tackles, including four solo against Boston College…made one tackle and a broke up a pass against Temple…had four tackles, including two for losses of six yards, and one pass deflection the following week at Florida…moved back to start at left tackle against the Gators…started at left end because of injuries to other players in the season opener against Florida A&M…registered two solo tackles, both of which were quarterback sacks, totaling 11 yards in losses against the Rattlers.

 

2001 (JUNIOR): Emerged as a big-play producer in his junior season…an excellent scholar who balanced the demands of an 18-hour course load while playing football…one of the team’s most admired players by his peers and the winner of the 2001 Dale Melching Leadership Award, presented annually by the team to the player who represents all the qualities of leadership and work ethic they admire most…produced one of college football’s most memorable plays of 2001 when he intercepted a deflected pass in the closing seconds against Boston College before teammate Edward Reed took the ball and returned it 80 yards for a clinching touchdown to keep Miami’s Rose Bowl dreams alive…led all the defensive linemen in tackles, ranking second on the team with 66 stops (29 unassisted)…fourth on the team with eight tackles for losses totaling 18 yards…had three quarterback sacks for 13 yards…forced one fumble and intercepted a pass…had 19 quarterback hurries…began the season with six tackles (two for losses) and a quarterback sack in the 33-7 win at Penn State…notched five solo tackles in the rout of Rutgers…had a career-high nine tackles (five solos) and four hurries against Pittsburgh…had seven tackles in the 38-7 win over Troy State…made four tackles and forced a fumble in the 49-27 win at Florida State…had four stops in a 45-3 win over West Virginia… made six tackles (two for losses) and had one quarterback sack in the 38-0 win over Temple…had seven tackles, one for a loss, and intercepted a pass in the dramatic 18-7 win at Boston College…had six tackles, including a quarterback sack, in the 65-7 win over Washington…had six more tackles and four hurries in the 26-24 win at Virginia Tech…had a tackle for a three-yard loss in Miami’s 37-14 Rose Bowl victory over Nebraska that clinched the Hurricanes’ fifth national championship…earned BIG EAST All-Academic Team honors, one of a lague-high 10 Hurricanes to do so.

 

2000 (SOPHOMORE): Made 32 tackles (12 solos) and five stops for losses…had three quarterback sacks and six quarterback hurries, along with three pass deflections…had a five-tackle outing in the win at Rutgers, making one of the game’s biggest plays by causing a fumble on a sack that was recovered by teammate Quincy Hipps for a Miami touchdown…had a career-high seven tackles (three solos) and a sack against Temple…was credited with three quarterback hurries in the win over Louisiana Tech…earned BIG EAST All-Academic Team honors, one of 10 Hurricanes so honored.

 

1999 (FRESHMAN): Appeared in all 12 games as back-up to Damione Lewis at defensive tackle…recorded 27 tackles, including nine solo…also contributed four tackles for loss, two sacks and five quarterback hurries…in his home debut against Florida A&M, recorded a career-best eight tackles (six assists) two tackles for loss and one sack for a loss of seven yards…assisted on one tackle against Penn State…had two tackles at East Carolina…tied a season-best with two solo tackles (three overall) at Florida State…had a solo tackle for a loss of one yard at Boston College…recorded one tackle against West Virginia…had two solo tackles at Pittsburgh…made two tackles at Virginia Tech…totaled four tackles, including a sack for a loss of five yards, against Rutgers…made one tackle against Syracuse…finished the regular season with two tackles against Temple…fared well in the Toyota Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech with two tackles and one for a loss of two yards…earned BIG EAST All-Academic Team honors.

 

1998 (REDSHIRT): One of 15 members of the 1998 recruiting class to redshirt.

 

HIGH SCHOOL: Eau Gallie…Florida Class 6A All-State second-team…named to the All-Conference and All-Space Coast Teams…also a first-team All-Central Florida selection…was a Florida Athletic Coaches Association first-team selection for offense and defense…became the first player in 20 years to be named to the first-team on both offense and defense…started every game at offensive tackle and defensive end…credited with 98 tackles, including 58 solo…also totaled 4.5 sacks, two fumbles caused, three fumbles recovered and an interception returned for 70 yards during his senior season…named his team’s MVP following his senior season…selected to play in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Florida/Georgia and Florida North-South All-Star games…earned first team All-Conference and honorable mention All-State as a junior…was a three-year letterman on the varsity golf and basketball teams… named basketball team’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior…coached by Dan Higgins.

 

PERSONAL: Born 8/22/79…mechanical engineering major…full name is Matthew Jeremy Walters…selected Miami over Florida, Virginia and Baylor…son of Wayne and Debbie Walters.

WALTERS’ CAREER BESTS

Total Tackles 11 (at Tennessee, 2002)
Solo 7 (at Tennessee, 2002)
Assists 6 (at Rutgers, 2002)
Sacks 2 (Florida A&M, 2002)

WALTERS’ 2002 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS

  TACKLES SACKS FUMBLE Pass
Opponent UT AT TT TFL-Yds No-Yds FF FR-Yds Int-Yds QBH PBU
Florida A&M 2 1 3 2-11 2-11 0 0-0 0-0 2 0
at Florida 2 3 5 1.5-6 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 2 1
at Temple 1 3 4 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 1 1
Boston College 3 3 6 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 1 0
Connecticut 0 1 1 0.5-3 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 4 0
Florida State 1 2 3 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 3 0
at West Virginia 4 4 8 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 3 0
at Rutgers 1 6 7 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 2 1
at Tennessee 7 4 11 1-1 1-1 0 0-0 0-0 1 0
Pittsburgh 2 5 7 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 0 0  
at Syracuse 1 0 1 1-1 1-1 0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Virginia Tech 0 1 1 1-2 1-2 0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Ohio State 4 3 7 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 28 36 64 7-24 5-15 0 0-0 0-0 19 3

WALTERS’ CAREER STATISTICS

    TACKLES FUMBLES
Year G-S TT UT AT TFL QBH Sacks FF FR PBU Int
2002 13-13 64 28 36 7-24 19 5-15 0 0-0 3 0-0
2001 11-11 66 29 37 8-18 19 3-13 1 0-0 4 1-10
2000 11-3 32 12 20 5-9 6 3-8 1 0-0 0 0-0
1999 12-0 27 9 18 4-17 5 2-12 0 0-0 0 0-0
Totals 48-27 186 77 111 24-68 49 13-48 2 0-0 7 1-10