Jacksonville Sports Day

Rashean Mathis Named to Bethune-Cookman 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Bethune-Cookman Athletics announced the 13-member 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class that will be honored during festivities on campus and in the community on Hall of Fame Weekend. The class includes former Jaguars Pro Bowl cornerback and Jacksonville native Rashean Mathis.

The 2016 Hall of Fame Class includes former student-athletes, coaches and special contributors who have enriched the legacy of the institution through intercollegiate athletics and professional accomplishments. The honorees were selected by an 11-person committee made up from a cross-section of campus constituencies, alumni and boosters. The inaugural Hall of Fame Class was inducted in 2000. Since its establishment, the Hall of Fame has enshrined 63 people, including the Class of 2016.

“We are honored to recognize thirteen outstanding Wildcats whose lives and accomplishments have made a tremendous impact on our university, community and our conference,” said B-CU President Dr. Edison O. Jackson.

Mathis, 35, attended Englewood High School, where he was a second-team All-State selection before enrolling at Bethune-Cookman University. At Bethune-Cookman, Mathis was a three-time Division I-AA All-American and totaled 31 interceptions in four years while playing cornerback and free safety. He also served as the team’s punt returner and was a sprinter on the school’s track team. Mathis became the first defensive back to win the Buck Buchanan Award (Division I-AA’s top defensive player), after shattering I-AA season records for interceptions and interception return yards as a senior.

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.

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.”

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.

In 2006, Mathis recorded a career-high, franchise-record eight interceptions en route to his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2008, Mathis joined Aaron Beasley (1999) as the only players in franchise history to register multiple interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single season. His 554 career tackles are the seventh-most in franchise history and he is one of six Jaguars players to block a field goal (Oct. 2, 2005 vs. Denver).

As a Jaguar, Mathis started 129 of 137 games and totaled 554 tackles, 79 passes defensed, 30 interceptions, four defensive touchdowns and one sack in his career. He was twice named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after Week 3 of the 2004 season when he registered seven tackles, forced one fumble and intercepted a pass against the Titans; and in Week 2 of the 2006 season after posting four tackles and two interceptions against the Steelers.

In 2013, Mathis signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Detroit Lions, where he appeared in 38 games and totaled 129 tackles and 28 passes defensed over the past three seasons

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