Former Cornell quarterback and current Canadian Football League member Jeff Mathews ’13 had a seasoned and storied history with the Red. During his time as a Cornell squad member, Mathews earned the Ivy passing record, surpassing the previous record by more than 2,000 yards. He is considered one of the best quarterbacks in Ivy League history and was one of the best college players during his time with the Red.
Mathews broke 47 Cornell records during his four years on the football squad and was nominated twice for the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year, winning once in 2011. However, while Mathews enjoyed a strong career with the Red, he was unable to find a spot on an NFL team after the May 2014 NFL draft. However, he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons, but was released shortly after in August 2014.
After a few more attempts on practice squads in the NFL, Mathews ultimately signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a CFL team, in January of 2015 as a free agent. Now donning the No. 15 jersey for the Tiger-Cats, Mathews may see starting time for the first time with the Ticats. After starting quarterback Zach Collaros suffered a season-ending ACL tear this past weekend, the Ticats are looking to current backup quarterbacks to take over the position, rather than trying to sign someone new onto the team.
Mathews is currently playing under the direction of head coach, general manager and vice president of football operations Kent Austin. However, this is not the first time that Austin has coached Mathews. Austin actually joined the Ticats after a three year coaching stint at Cornell, where he coached none other than Mathews for three seasons. Austin left the Red in 2012 to take over the head coaching position for Hamilton.