JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A brand new face to the Jacksonville Jaguars is now their hero after helping to give the team its first win in 399 days on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
The kicker is usually not the star of the show, but rookie Matthew Wright, who said he’s generally quiet, spoke loudly with his foot on Sunday, making two clutch field goals, including a 53-yard kick to end the game and bring to a close the Jaguars 20-game losing streak.
#DUUUVAL, this one’s for you. pic.twitter.com/5SckFN7wPg— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 17, 2021
“He was telling me he was like a software engineer like a month and a half ago,” Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said after the game. “Just crazy, you can’t even make it up.”
And that appears to be accurate.
A look at Wright’s LinkedIn page shows that up until last month he was a “Systems Engineer Associate” at Lockheed Martin. According to Sporting News, Wright earned his degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Central Florida, where he set records as the football team’s kicker.
In between stints at Lockheed Martin, Wright made appearances for the Steelers and Lions in the last two seasons before eventually landing with the Jaguars in October.
Before he signed with the Jaguars, Wright was posting kicking videos on his Twitter page in an effort to get NFL teams to notice.
4 x 50yd— Matt Wright (@Mattyice717) September 8, 2021
4 x 60yd pic.twitter.com/PmFlLYw6Ma
Then the Jaguars came calling.
Wright, 25, said Lockheed Martin has been supportive of his football career and is holding his position for him just in case his NFL dreams don’t work out.
That doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon following Wright’s recent heroics after taking the starting job from Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo, who is dealing with confidence issues but remains on the roster.
Now local relatives of Wright have been celebrating his success on Facebook.
“That kick was amazingly perfect and to see your team so excited was even more amazing to watch! So proud of you!” his aunt wrote.
News4Jax Sports Producer Justin Barney said teammates are starting to notice and he may be living up to his “Matty Ice” nickname.
“A lot of the guys yesterday said it was the first time they’d heard him speak audibly yesterday after the game. First time trying to get his footing in Jacksonville,” Barney said.
Barney said it isn’t the first time a player has come from a different field onto the gridiron. Special teams player Jayden Mickens was sleeping in his car before being picked up in 2017.