Over the next few days, Bethel University’s Seth Mathis is getting a shot at the NFL.
The Division III linebacker has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability during his four years at Bethel. His junior year, Mathis led the Royals with five interceptions and 120 tackles. In fact, he LB ranked No. 25 in the nation with that tackle total.
It was that season that proved Mathis had very real potential to move onto the pro level — in December 2012, Mathis even met with a representative from the Dallas Cowboys and was given a standardized intelligence test called the Wonderlic, which is taken by all NFL prospects.
Mike Fregeau, Bethel’s Defensive Coordinator, said the following about Mathis:
“Seth was an outstanding player for us here at Bethel [...] He’s extremely talented with great speed and strength and has incredible instincts for the game! [Seth is a] great teammate both in the sense of bringing out the best of his teammates, but also caring about them like a brother. He would much rather play hard for his teammates and have someone else get the credit.”
Mathis finished his time at Bethel as a two-time AFCA All-American and three-time All-MIAC linebacker. As a senior, he intercepted 11 passes, forced six fumbles, and grabbed 3.5 sacks. He currently stands No. 1 in the Royals program with 361 career tackles.
Royals inside linebackers coach Rick Meyer also had nothing but good things to say about Mathis:
Seth has grown himself into an incredible man and player through years of demanding physical and mental preparation. His discipline and dedication to himself, his teammates, and the game are truly admirable. Moreover, what makes Seth exceptional is his ability to make everyone else around him better not only because of his tremendous athleticism and talent but equally because of his pure heart and humble leadership abilities. When he plays hard, everyone else follows. That’s the sign of a true leader. Fortunately for our football team, he gave unbelievable effort in every opportunity year round. These actions from a star player left a lasting impression on his team, his teammates, and the entire program.
[Mathis] is seasoned and ready to take the next step as a player and man. Knowing his personality, he is embracing the opportunity to learn, grow, and prove himself. Coming from Division III he knows the mountain is a little steeper, but he is well-equipped for a great climb.
Although Mathis remains undrafted, he hopes to impress the Vikings staff this weekend and earn a free agency contract for the upcoming season.
“I know [the training camp] will be highly challenging,” said Mathis, “but my goal is to prove to coaches and scouts that I slipped through the cracks and belong at the next level.”
GET TO KNOW SETH MATHIS
Q: How long have you been playing football?
Mathis: I have been playing since 3rd grade when my Mom finally allowed me to play!
Q: Have you always played the position that you do now?
Mathis: I played offensive line until 6th grade because I was not allowed to carry the ball (too heavy). Ever since then, I have played running back and linebacker, [and in] college I played linebacker all four years.
Q: What does it mean to you to be invited to the Vikings rookie training camp?
Mathis: It means so much to me. It’s great to be invited to try out for a team that I have respected and loved since I started watching football. It truly is a dream come true to be a part of this camp. I am so thankful for the Vikings giving me this opportunity.
Q: What number do you wear and why?
Mathis: I have been wearing number 5 since high school because that was the year Reggie Bush won the Heisman at USC. I loved the way he played the game in college.
5. If you could have 1 day to train with any current NFL player, who would that be? Why?
Mathis: I would love to train with London Fletcher, who just retired. I love the way he plays the game and I have looked up to him because he comes from a D3 school and is a potential HOF player.
Mathis is one of five athletes represented by Greg Johnson of Origin Sports Management that has been invited to the Vikings rookie camp. Visit the main Vikings Territory page to view features on the other players.