Matakevich an All-America

PHILADELPHIA – Temple true freshman linebacker Tyler Matakevich from Stratford, a St. Joseph High graduate, has been named to the 2012 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team.

In its 12th year, the FWAA Freshman All-America Team honored players from 11 Football Bowl Subdivision Conferences and Notre Dame on its 30-man roster.

Matakevich is just the 12th Temple freshman to earn All-America honors and the first since running back Bernard Pierce (2009) to earn recognition as a true freshman. He joins defensive tackle Dan Klecko (1999) as the only Owls to capture first-team freshman All-America accolades.

The 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year and a second-team selection as well as the 2012 ECAC Defensive Rookie of the Year, Matakevich played in all 11 games, starting eight games last fall.

One of just four true freshmen to earn a starting role for the Owls, Matakevich became the first freshman in school history to record 100 tackles.

He led the Temple defense in his inaugural campaign with 101 tackles, including 67 solo stops, three tackles for losses, three break-ups, two fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble.

“This is truly an amazing feeling. I am so honored,” Matakevich said in a release from the school. “I could not have achieved this without the help of my teammates, especially the upperclassmen. It is such an honor to be recognized among the great names of the Temple football tradition. I can’t wait to get back to school and get back on the football field.”

Temple begins spring practice in March in preparation for its second season of Big East Conference play in 2013. The Owls return 46 letterwinners, including 15 starters, and open the 2013 slate at No. 1 Notre Dame on Aug. 31.