Matthew Stafford #9 QB
Height: 6-3 Weight: 226 Age: 29
Born: 2/7/1988 Tampa , FL
Experience: 8th season
High School: Highland Park HS [Dallas, TX]
Selected By: Detroit Lions
Pick (Overall): 1 (1)
Considered the most NFL-ready quarterback in the 2009 draft, Stafford has been the unquestioned leader of the Bulldogs offense since taking over the starting signal-caller duties as a freshman. In 34 starting assignments, the junior compiled a 27-7 record (.794) at Georgia. He would close out his collegiate career ranking third on the school's all-time record list for yards passing (7,731), pass attempts (987), completed passes (564), touchdown passes (51), touchdowns responsible for (57), and yards in total offense (7,944).
Blessed with top arm strength, Stafford has a compact and quick delivery that allows him to get the ball off on time. He is the classic drop-back passer who gets proper depth and shows good footwork dropping back from center to efficiently scan the field and locate his open target.
Stafford was a standout at Highland Park High School. The Parade, Super Prep and USA Today All-American was rated as the best prep passer in the country by Rivals.com and ranked second nationally by both Scout.com and ESPN. He added Prep Star Top 100 honors and that recruiting service ranked him third in the country at his position.
Stafford was a three-time All-State selection, adding Gatorade Player of the Year, EA Sports National Player of the Year and Dallas Morning News Area Offensive Player of the Year accolades as a senior. He received a five-star prospect rating from both Scout.com and Rivals.com, in addition to being chosen Class AAAA Player of the Year by Dave Campbell's Texas Football and Class AAAA "Mr. Texas Football" recognition from TexasFootball.com.
Stafford threw for 4,018 yards on 209-of-322 passing and 38 touchdowns, as he led his team to the Class AAAA championship, its first title since 1957. He also rushed for 212 yards and eight touchdowns on 42 carries. In the first round of the 2005 state playoffs, he rallied his team from a 17-0 deficit to win 38-31 with 411 yards passing and four touchdowns. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tom Landry Classic, a Student Sports All-American and All-District choice.
During his junior year, Stafford threw for 1,748 yards and 18 touchdowns, and was named to the Rivals.com Junior All-American Team. As a sophomore, he had 2,945 yards and 36 touchdown passes. Upon graduation, he was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game and to the EA Sports Elite 11 Camp for the nation's top quarterbacks.
Stafford graduated from high school early and enrolled at Georgia in time to compete in 2005 spring drills. That extra time with the varsity saw the true freshman earn eight starting assignments, becoming the first Bulldog since Eric Zeier since 1991 to come out of high school and start for Georgia.
The Freshman All-Southeastern Conference choice compiled a 6-2 record in those contests. He was named the Offensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, going on to gain 1,749 yards with seven touchdowns and thirteen interceptions, as he completed 135-of-256 passes (52.7%). He also scored three times on the ground, finishing with an average of 149.23 yards per game in total offense.
Stafford produced an 11-2 record in 13 starts during the 2007 season. His 84-yard touchdown vs. Florida was the longest pass completion in the SEC that year. He hit on 194-of-348 tosses (55.75%) for 2,523 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also scored on a pair of option runs.
Stafford was named a finalist for Manning Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, both given to the nation's top passer. The second-team All-Southeastern Conference choice led the Bulldogs to a 10-3 record. He set school season-records for touchdown passes (25), yards gained per offensive play (8.27 yards per play) and yards in total offense (3,499). His 3,459 yards passing rank second on Georgia's annual record books, as his 235-of-383 passes placed him fourth on the school lists.