JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis has been named part of Bethune Cookman’s 2016 athletic hall of fame class. The ceremony will take place on campus during the weekend of Sept. 16-17.
Mathis set the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and B-CU single-season interception record with 14 in 2002. He finished that season as the fifth-leading scorer on the 2002 team, with touchdowns on interception returns, punt returns and touchdown receptions, respectively. His stellar 2002 season was capped off with him being named the winner of the Buck Buchannan Award as the nation’s top defensive player.
From there Mathis was selected by Jacksonville in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. As the 39th overall selection, he is the third-highest selection by any player from Bethune-Cookman and the highest since Terry Williams (37th) in 1988. Mathis is the only player the Jaguars have drafted from Bethune-Cookman in club history.
Mathis spent the next 10 seasons with the Jaguars, anchoring the team’s secondary. A 16-game starter as a rookie, he began his career by starting the first six games at free safety before moving to cornerback for the remaining 10 games of his inaugural season. His 30 career interceptions, three career interceptions returned for a touchdown, 512 career interception return yards and 35 total career takeaways (30 interceptions, five fumble recoveries) are all franchise records. Mathis appeared in 137 games during the 2003-12 seasons, the seventh-most in franchise history and the most by a Jaguars defensive back. His 129 starts are tied with current tight end Marcedes Lewis for the fourth-most in franchise history.
Mathis, 35, is a Jacksonville native and attended Englewood High School, where he was a second-team All-State selection before enrolling at Bethune-Cookman University.
B-CU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn W. Thompson, who worked directly with the selection committee chaired by Dr. Kevin James, Sr., is truly impressed with the class. "The committee selected a phenomenal group of thirteen of the greatest student-athletes, coaches and supporters to have ever been a part of the history of our university," Thompson said. "They each truly deserve this moment of honor and recognition for the work they have done on our campus and beyond."