Nov. 18, 2005
#82 Matt Shelton
Senior, 6-0, 175
Senior wide receiver Matt Shelton is in his fifth season with the Irish having played in 42 games in his career at wide receiver and special teams. Through eight games this season, the lightning quick receiver has 17 catches for 178 yards. In 2004, Shelton proved to be Notre Dame’s big play receiver, making 20 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns. His 25.5 yards per catch set a Notre Dame single-season record for yards per catch. Shelton is currently enrolled in graduate studies after graduating last May with a degree in marketing from the Mendoza College of Business. GameDay’s Elizabeth Goers gives Irish fans a chance to get to know Matt Shelton.
Goers: What is your major and how did you get interested in that area of study?
Shelton: “I majored in marketing and sociology as an undergraduate. Originally I went into business, but I picked up sociology because I had free time and wanted to work towards something.”
Goers: What has been your hardest class and why?
Shelton: “For me, accounting and finance classes have been the hardest. I am just not very good with numbers.”
Goers: What has been your favorite class and why?
Shelton: “I really liked my classes with Professor Ackerman, Professor Pressler, and Professor Dreves. I liked those guys because they are personal and good teachers.”
Goers: What made you pick Notre Dame over the other schools you were interested in? What were the other schools?
Shelton: “Academics and tradition led to me selecting Notre Dame. I chose Notre Dame over Tennessee because I grew up on the other side of the state, so I really didn’t grow up watching Tennessee.”
Goers: To date, what has been the highlight of your Notre Dame career?
Shelton: “My career highlight came last year when we beat Michigan (28-20) and I caught my first touchdown pass of the year.”
Goers: Who were your sports idols as a kid and why?
Shelton: “I grew up watching players like Jerry Rice, John Elway, Joe Montana and Michael Jordan.”
Goers: As a football player, is there any one player you modeled your game after?
Shelton: ” I guess as a receiver you always watch Jerry Rice, because he’s a legend and you try to watch his techniques and fundamentals and incorporate them into your talents.”
Goers: Who has been your biggest non-sports role model and why?
Shelton: “I would have to go with the parents. Mom and dad have always been there for me, directed me in the right way and let me make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes.”
Goers: What is one thing in your life that you cannot live without?
Shelton: “I would say that I couldn’t live without sleep. I love to sleep.”
Goers: How do you think you’ve grown as a person since coming to Notre Dame?
Shelton: “I think that I have become more well-rounded as a person. I definitely have learned a lot and had a lot of life experiences here at Notre Dame.”
Goers: What is one thing about you that might surprise people?
Shelton: One thing that might surprise people about me is that I am in a piano class this year. I have always wanted to learn how to play piano. I love it. It’s fun, but its work. I can’t do two hands at once; I just started I have never played before in my life.”
Goers: How and what do you do to balance your academic workload and your football workload?
Shelton: “I pretty much go to school and go to football and soon as I am done I sit down and study for a couple of hours and make sure I am on top of stuff for the next day.”
Goers: What is you favorite movie and why?
Shelton: “I like those dumb comedy ones like Zoolander or Anchorman. I like something that is just funny. I love anything with Will Ferrell in it – I love Will Ferrell.”
Goers: Where is the toughest place that you’ve played as a college football player?
Shelton: “The toughest place to play is Tennessee, easily. They have 110,000 fans and there is bright orange everywhere. The stadium just goes straight up.”
Goers: What CD do you have in your collection that would surprise people?
Shelton: “I don’t own an I-pod and I don’t really listen to music. I watch TV over music.”
Goers: What would a movie about your life be titled and who would star as you?
Shelton: “Some of the guys would title the movie Seabiscuit or Seabiscuit 2 since there was already one because I am a little guy trying to fight. That’s what Brian Beidatsch calls me. Let’s go with Owen Wilson to star as me, because he’s funny.”
Goers: Who is the best athlete that you have ever competed against?
Shelton: “The best athletes that I’ve face would have to be two of our guys from my earlier years at Notre Dame – Shane Walton and Vontez Duff.”
Goers: If you had the chance to play golf with anyone in history, besides you, who else would be in your foursome and why would you pick those three people?
Shelton: I would want to play golf with Tiger Woods so he could give me some pointers. I would want Will Ferrell in the foursome, because I think he would be a lot of fun on the golf course. Anytime he missed a shot it would just be fun to watch. And lastly, I would like to play golf with George Washington.”
Goers: Describe what it feels like on game day and playing in Notre Dame Stadium?
Shelton: “Playing at Notre Dame Stadium is definitely a rush. The adrenaline gets going really quick when you go running out on to the field and see the fans. There is nothing like your first time doing it.”
Goers: What is your favorite thing about playing for Notre Dame?
Shelton: “My favorite things about playing at Notre Dame are the players, my teammates. Throughout my five years, I have had a great group of guys and experiences on the team.”