Jaguars kicker Matt Wright (aptly self-nicknamed “Matty Ice”) nailed the team’s first three field goals of the season on Sunday afternoon, with his final kick locking down the Jaguars’ first win on the season.
But long before Wright was hitting kicks on Sundays, the aerospace engineering major was working for Lockheed Martin, something that very few, if any, NFL players can lay claim to.
Wright’s interesting career path from being a “national champion” at UCF to interning at Lockheed Martin to being the last line of defense for the Jaguars on Sunday could make him one of the more interesting players in the NFL.
Who is Matthew Wright?
The Lancaster, Penn.-born “Matty Ice” Wright attended Central Florida, where he set several school records as the team’s kicker. He was part of the famed 2017 UCF team which staked a claim as national champion during its undefeated season.
In 2017, Wright hit 10 extra points in UCF’s game vs. Austin Peay, the single-game record. He also holds the record in career points (375), field goals made (55), PATs (212, including 155 straight PATs made) and has tied the record for career .774 kicking percentage.
Wright earned his degree in aerospace engineering and was named a recipient of the school’s Order of the Pegasus award, which is given for “academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership, and community service.”
While attending UCF, Wright interned at defense, arms and military corporation Lockheed Martin and was offered a full-time position with the company after graduation. The company was supportive of his decision to join the NFL, and held his job for him had his NFL dreams not worked out.
Wright’s LinkedIn page indicates that he had worked with the company as recently September as a systems engineer associate.
In between stints at Lockheed Martin, Wright made appearances for the Steelers and Lions in the last two seasons before eventually landing with the Jaguars in October, replacing an injured Josh Lambo. Lambo was seen embracing Wright during the game.
Before signing with the Jaguars, Wright was posting kicking videos on his Twitter page, trying to woo an NFL team into signing him. It worked: the Jags signed him to their practice squad on Sept. 26.
On Oct. 16, Wright was elevated from the Jaguars’ practice squad to the active roster. On Oct. 17, Wright helped end the 20-game losing streak for the Jaguars, hitting three field goals on the day, including the 53-yard game winner with time expiring to sink the Dolphins.
Well, if the whole kicking thing doesn’t work out, at least he’ll have his cubicle at Lockheed Martin waiting for him.
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