Most Underrated Player in the SEC: The Cheetah


Oct 11, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Matthew Wells (22) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Auburn Tigers 38-23. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Wells is, in my opinion, the most underrated player in the SEC. Standing at 6′-2″ and 220 lbs, he’s is still one of the fastest players on the team. An athletic freak known as the “Cheetah”.

I love State’s linebackers. Every one of them. But Matt Wells, the starting Will LB, is probably my favorite.

Just watch him during a game. He started over here but now he’s across the field just like that. Making tackles, flying to the ball. He can stop the run, cover a receiver or deliver a blow to a 225 pound running back (although my favorite thing is he just makes solid form tackles).

Wells is known as the Cheetah because he can run like the wind….somewhere around a 4.4 forty yard dash. That is crazy speed for a guy his size, but it’s exactly the type of weapon Geoff Collins wants to have on the outside. He can blitz, he can cover a man deep. You name it, the Cheetah is there.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (from 2012):

Matt got a handful of starts his first couple of years after redshirting in 2010, but he’s been a full-time starter the last two seasons. So far this year here is his stat line:

  • 22 tackles
  • 4 TFL
  • 1.5 sacks
  • 2 QB hurries
  • 5 pass break-ups

When I think of “psycho defense” I think of Matt Wells. Oh, and his backup Zach Jackson isn’t too shabby either. And J.T. Gray behind him – let’s just say we’re in for a long line of great WLB at MSU.